Mike Kurt Chilinski Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Helena, on November 5, 2012, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, MIKE KURT CHILINSKI, a 52-year-old resident of Jefferson City, pled guilty to manufacture of marijuana. Sentencing has been set for April 11, 2013. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On October 12, 2011, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office deputies served a search warrant regarding animal cruelty charges at CHILINSKI's Jefferson County residence. During that search warrant execution, the deputies located marijuana plants growing in the residence and on the property. They called the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force. Members of the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force then obtained a search warrant for the marijuana plants. Law enforcement recovered 216 marijuana plants and approximately 1,000 grams of processed marijuana.
On October 13, 2011, the deputies discovered more marijuana plants on the property. The SWMDTF prepared a second search warrant covering all four parcels of CHILINSKI's property for marijuana plants. On October 14, 2011, law enforcement seized an additional 120 marijuana plants.
On October 13, 2011, when interviewed, CHILINSKI stated he purchased marijuana from another caregiver who charged him $260 per ounce of marijuana. The approximate 1,000 grams were for his new patients and to make new edibles. CHILINSKI then sold and gave away marijuana to potential patients. CHILINSKI grew the plants from January through October 2011.
In the past, CHILINSKI may have had as many as 30 patients at one time. CHILINSKI planned to reapply to be a caregiver but had not done the paperwork. He also needed to get new patients and was in the process of getting new patients.
Samples from the marijuana plants as well as the 1,000 grams of marijuana listed above were submitted to the DEA Laboratory for analysis. The result of that analysis found that the items submitted for testing contained a detectable amount of marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance.
CHILINSKI faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years and could be sentenced to 40 years, a $2,000,000 fine, and 4 years supervised release. .
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force.