By NIKKI YOUNK
IRON MOUNTAIN - A Channing man accused of running a marijuana grow operation in his basement has accepted a plea deal.
Dickinson County Prosecutor Lisa Richards said that 52-year-old Mark Alan Baker agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of delivery or manufacture of marijuana as a habitual offender-second.
Originally, Baker had faced the more serious felony charge of delivery or manufacture of marijuana-between five and 45 kilograms. Baker had also originally been listed as a habitual offender-third.
A four-day jury trial in the matter had been scheduled to start on Jan. 21.
Baker still faces a maximum penalty of six years in prison when he is sentenced on June 3.
Richards said that she will seek a minimum sentence of 15 months in prison.
The charge against Baker stems from a May 15 incident at his home in Channing.
According to the criminal complaint in the case, Michigan State Police troopers were assisting parole agents in arresting Baker on a parole violation.
While clearing the residence, troopers observed a green, leafy substance in one of the bedroom closets.
After obtaining a search warrant, troopers discovered a marijuana grow operation in the basement of the residence. They seized 109 marijuana plants, 1,652 grams of suspected marijuana, grow lights, transformers, and a digital scale.
Troopers believed that the street value of the marijuana seized amounted to more than $121,500.
Baker has previous marijuana-related convictions from 2010 in Marinette County and 2009 in Dickinson County.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.