U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
June 8 , 2010
FEDERAL JURY CONVICTS PROVIDENCE MAN FOR MANUFACTURING MARIJUANA; POSSESSION OF HEROIN WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A federal jury took less than two hours Monday to convict a Providence man of manufacturing more than 100 marijuana plants in his Providence apartment. Mark McNaught, 36, was also found guilty of possession of heroin with the intent to distribute.
The verdicts were announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi presided over the trial, which began last Friday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah presented evidence that McNaught was seen by police entering a vehicle on July 31, 2009, and that he handed an item to the driver before exiting the vehicle a few blocks away. Police stopped the vehicle and found the driver to be in possession of heroin.
McNaught was questioned by police and he admitted that he provided heroin to the driver, and that he had more in his apartment. He also told police he had some marijuana plants in his apartment. A search of McNaught’s apartment turned up additional heroin and approximately 125 marijuana plants in various stage of growth. Various exhibits, including photographs, were presented to the jury that showed marijuana plants in two rooms of the apartment. Officers testified as to the number of plants.
Testifying in his own defense, McNaught did not deny possession of the heroin or marijuana plants, but did dispute the number of plants. McNaught testified that there were less than 100 plants.
Having been convicted of manufacturing 100 or more marijuana plants, McNaught faces a mandatory minimum 5 years imprisonment, up to a maximum of forty years; a minimum 4 of years supervised release, up to a maximum of supervised release for life; and a maximum fine of $2,000,000.
On the conviction for possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, McNaught faces a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment; a minimum of 3 years supervised release, up to a maximum of supervised release for life; and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 7.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert assisted in the prosecution of the case. The matter was investigated by Providence Police.