By NIKKI YOUNK
IRON MOUNTAIN - A Channing man who was busted last year for running a large marijuana grow operation in his basement has been sentenced to one year in jail already served.
Mark Alan Baker, 53, appeared via videoconference for a sentencing hearing in Dickinson County Circuit Court. He is currently serving an 18-month prison sentence in Wisconsin for a parole violation on a 2009 marijuana manufacture charge out of Marinette County.
Dickinson County Prosecutor Lisa Richards and defense attorney Elizabeth LaCosse had previously agreed that Baker should serve a 15-month prison sentence concurrent to his Wisconsin parole violation sentence and with credit for time already served.
However, probation agent James Sundquist pointed out that if Baker were sentenced to prison time in Michigan, he would have to be officially processed through the Michigan Department of Corrections.
In order to avoid the technicality, Dickinson County Circuit Court Judge Mary B. Barglind decided to sentence Baker to 12 months in jail concurrent to his Wisconsin parole violation sentence and with credit for 12 months already served.
Baker will remain in prison in Wisconsin to serve the rest of his parole violation sentence. He will not return to the Dickinson County Jail.
Richards expressed concern that Baker will return to Michigan after he is released from prison and offend again. She felt that some amount of probation should be imposed if he returns.
When given a chance to speak, Baker said that if he returns to Michigan, he will immediately obtain a medical marijuana card. He claimed that he "wouldn't be in this situation" if he had initially been allowed to obtain a card.
Judge Barglind informed him that even if he initially had a medical marijuana card, he still would not have been allowed to be in possession of 109 marijuana plants and 1,652 grams of marijuana.
Baker was sentenced on one felony count of delivery or manufacture of marijuana as a habitual offender-second.
The charge stems from a
May 15, 2013 incident at Baker's home in Channing.
According to the criminal complaint in the case, Michigan State Police troopers were assisting parole agents in arresting Baker on a parole violation.
While clearing the residence, troopers observed a green, leafy substance in one of the bedroom closets.
After obtaining a search warrant, troopers discovered a marijuana grow operation in the basement of the residence. They seized 109 marijuana plants and 1,652 grams of suspected marijuana.
Troopers believed that the street value of the marijuana seized amounted to more than $121,500.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is email@example.com.