Marijuana odor on child’s clothes leads to dad’s grow operation, prison
MARQUETTE, MI – A man whose young daughter showed up at school reeking of marijuana has been sentenced to two years in prison for an illegal grow operation.
Randall Raymond Fieck Jr., formerly of Wisconsin, moved to Dickinson in the Upper Peninsula to take advantage of Michigan’s medical marijuana law, his attorney said.
Fieck pleaded guilty to manufacturing 50 or more marijuana plants, which carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison. Police say he had 207 marijuana plants and 60 starter clones growing in a high-tech, indoor nursery that covered four rooms in a house he bought on a land contract.
Related: Marijuana odor on kindergartner’s clothes leads to dad’s grow operation, police say
His operation was discovered Jan. 29, 2014, when his daughter showed up for kindergarten “with a strong odor of marijuana on her clothing,” Kingsford Public Safety Sgt. Joseph Menghini wrote in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Marquette.
The principal at Woodland Elementary School in Kingsford said the girl told her teacher that her dad was “growing marijuana plants in the basement of their residence and that she was not supposed to tell anyone,” records said.
Police detected a strong odor of marijuana when they stopped at Fieck’s house that afternoon. Fieck allegedly told police that he was a medical marijuana caregiver and refused police entry. Police said they would seek a search warrant.
Fieck left, picked up his then-6-year-old daughter at school and didn’t return while police searched his home.
Police found the marijuana plants and three pounds of processed marijuana which would exceed the amount allowed under Michigan’s medical marijuana law.
Police said that the grow system spanned two rooms in the basement and two rooms upstairs. High-intensity lights moved along rails to provide equal light to all of the plants. Police also found materials used to grow marijuana.
Fieck and his daughter lived in the house. He has custody and is solely responsible for her.
“He made some modifications to that home to accommodate a marijuana growing operation so he could grow medical marijuana for himself and others,” attorney Karl Numinen wrote in a sentencing memorandum.
“Mr. Fieck has accepted full responsibility for his actions giving rise to the current criminal charges,” the attorney wrote. “He has expressed his sincere intention to not grow marijuana again and he is no longer using prescription medications or marijuana to control his medical needs.”
He said his client has many physical problems, some resulting from work injuries. He also has a history of substance abuse that began at 12 and continued until his arrest.
“Mr. Fieck is fortunate to enjoy the strong support of several members of his community and family …,” the attorney wrote.
U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell said Fieck will spend three years on supervised release when his prison sentence ends.