Kids say the darndest things.
Everyone who has ever been around a child for more than a second knows they are very observant sponges, and are likely to share what they see and hear with anyone who’ll listen.
So it’s probably not the wisest idea to allow a 2nd grader to contribute to your illegal marijuana growing operation if you prefer not to get caught and arrested. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons why an 8-year-old shouldn’t be involved in such an operation.
Over in Windsor, Vermont, last week, a man named Steven Mann, 54, allegedly confessed to growing and selling marijuana after his girlfriend’s child spilled the beans to police, the Times-Argus reported.
It’s not clear how the 2nd grader came to speak with police about the illegal activity going on inside his house, and he also discussed the marijuana plants and apparent customers with school officials.
Windsor Police Det. Jennifer Frank detailed the boy’s testimony in an affidavit. In it, the boy described the growing operation in innocent terms, allegedly telling police that he was helping a “farmer” grow “special medicine” plants. He also spoke highly of Mann’s “green thumb” and of the marijuana itself.
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) February 26, 2016
In the affidavit, Frank contended that the 2nd grader said these “special medicine” plants were able to “cure anything at all.” The child then described what the plants looked like, and the detective immediately suspected that he was describing marijuana.
The child further revealed that people visited his house in Windsor a lot, the Associated Press added. A “steady stream” of visitors came to the house, and called frequently.
Thanks to these interesting stories, police were able to visit the house themselves and allegedly found plenty of evidence to back up the child’s tales of farming and special plants.
In fact, police said they discovered two “grow rooms” right next to the kid’s bedroom. One of the rooms contained starter plants, and the other housed more mature ones, according to investigators.
Mann also confessed that the day police arrived on his doorstep, he and his girlfriend and the boy’s mother, Leona Hunt, “had just taken a hit” as soon as they knocked on the door.
— Coverage Mail (@CoverageMail) February 28, 2016
Frank reported sniffing out the tell-tale odor of marijuana when she entered their Main Street apartment, and that Mann gave her a warm glass pipe that she surmised the couple had been smoking seconds before. The child appeared to have been in the same room at the time.
In sweeping the rest of the house, officers found quite a stash: $700 in cash and paraphernalia including pipes, rolling papers, bags of marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, bongs, grinders, and digital scales. The marijuana had a street value of $75,000.
The suspect later admitted that he’d been selling marijuana at $10 a joint, or $50 for an eighth-of-an-ounce “slice.” He also confessed that the vast majority of his business was conducted in New Hampshire and that he often donated some marijuana to at least one elderly neighbor.
By Monday, the 2nd grader’s loose lips landed Mann in a criminal court in White River Junction, where he pleaded innocent to a felony charge for cultivating more than 25 marijuana plants. He was released on bond, but, if convicted, could spend 15 years in prison.
The 2nd grader’s mother, Hunt, was also arrested and will face charges as well, but those are not yet clear.
As for the little boy, he’s been taken from the home by the Department for Children and Families. The department has launched its own probe because the child slept so close to the marijuana plants and evidently helped grow them. The chemicals used in the house are also of concern.
[Image via Owain lacey/Shutterstock]