Man pleads guilty to growing pot, forfeits weapons

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PARIS — A 41-year-old Greenwood man pleaded guilty Thursday in Oxford County Superior Court to growing marijuana so he could pay his attorney in Missouri.

Stephen Nicholas Petrocelli of 84 West Summit Road in Greenwood pleaded guilty to aggravated marijuana cultivation and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He also agreed to forfeit a Walther .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol, a Ruger Mini-14 rifle, and a Ruger SR-22 rifle to the state.

Justice Robert Clifford accepted a plea agreement sentencing Petrocelli to a straight jail sentence of four months and a $400 fine.

According to a report by Zane Loper of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Petrocelli was convicted of felony counts of manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance on May 3 in Laclede County, Mo. He transferred his probation conditions to Maine and requested a travel permit from probation officer Michael Downs on May 12 to return to Missouri to begin serving his sentence.

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Assistant District Attorney Richard Beauchesne said Downs found that Petrocelli was living at an address different from the one he reported. A search of the residence found the three weapons as well as 37 marijuana plants. Petrocelli told Loper that he was growing the marijuana so he could raise money and pay his Missouri attorney.

Petrocelli was arrested on a charge of probation violation, and the District Attorney’s Office added the new charges on May 22. The plea waived a possible grand jury indictment.

Clifford stayed payment of the fine for one year to allow Petrocelli to serve his sentence in Missouri.

mlangeveld@sunjournal.com

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