Branch man pleads to marijuana growing charges

April 23, 2014
Larry Cress

Larry Cress

LUDINGTON — A Branch Township man pleaded guilty this afternoon in 51st Circuit Court for growing over 20 but less than 200 marijuana plants in his house.

Larry Cress, 50, of 8946 E. US-10, Branch, was arrested May 28, 2013 by the State, Sheriffs, Chiefs Enforcement Narcotics Team (SSCENT) for a felony of controlled substance – delivery/manufacture.

Originally, Cress was scheduled to appear in court last June. However, he left the state. He was later arrested in Marshal County, Kansas and extradited back to Ludington.

He faced 7 years in prison or a $500,000 fine for the felony charges. He also faced second offense charges based on a 1989 conviction of a previous controlled substance offense, doubling the sentence.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola offered Cress a plea agreement of one year in the Mason County Jail serving four months up front with the remainder served at the court’s discretion.

Cress told the court he was growing the plants for medical purposes for his neighbor and himself. The SSCENT team recovered 28 plants.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday, June 10 at 1:45 p.m.

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