A Winona County jury found a 55-year-old man guilty of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and one misdemeanor count of obstructing legal process with force.
The jury reached a verdict for Stephen Thomas Conlin’s trial on Wednesday, after a three-day trial.
The Winona County Attorney’s Office said Conlin had pending criminal charges for growing marijuana in October 2010, when officers executed a search warrant at this business, "The BUZZ" on January 25, 2012. Investigators found about 1.8 pounds of marijuana and packing materials.
There were labels with Conlin’s name on it stating that he was “Minnesota’s First Lawful Marijuana Mercantile,” the Attorney’s Office said. Conlin claimed that because he was in compliance with tax laws in purchasing marijuana tax stamps, as required by Chapter 297D of Minnesota Statutes, he could lawfully sell the marijuana.
“Failing to pay taxes on the marijuana and selling marijuana are two separate crimes, however, and complying with taxation laws on illegal activities does not make the illegal activity lawful,” the Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Conlin’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 16, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. He remains released pending sentencing on his previously posted $25,000 conditional bail.