Thomas Franzen from suburban Chicago pled guilty to possession of upwards of 5000 grams of cannabis and received the minimum sentence, CNN reports. Franzen is suffering from testicular cancer and was given a reduced sentence in light of his medical condition, according to State Attorney Joe McMahon.
“In recognition of the seriousness of Mr. Franzen’s medical condition, our office reduced a 12-year mandatory minimum sentence to 4 years, of which he is required to serve only 2 years,” McMahon said in the statement. “We did this in spite of evidence that proves that Mr. Franzen is a drug dealer.”
McMahon added that “the marijuana-laced product found at Mr. Franzen’s home was not purchased from a medical marijuana business, and the amount he purchased far exceeds what would be used for personal consumption.”
Authorities were tipped off about Franzen after postal workers became suspicious of his unusual shipping habits. After obtaining a search warrant in 2014 to open a package, they found more than 19,000 grams of chocolate infused with THC. A further search of his home yielded 100 grams of marijuana, cocaine and evidence of a drug dealing operation.
Prosecutors reportedly dismissed several serious charges of marijuana trafficking, a felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
“He got the best disposition that was available given the constraints of Illinois law,” Franzen’s attorney, David Camic, told CNN.
Franzen was sentenced one day before the Illinois legislature voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana beginning this January. As noted by Complex, residents 21 and up will be allowed to have 30 grams of flower, 5 grams of concentrate, or 500 mg of THC-infused items.