Trial set for $8,000-a-month pot growing operation
The married couple, Freddie G. Rickel, 44, and Amy Rickel, 40, each face felony drug manufacturing and possessing with intent to deliver charges related to growing pot plants for more than a year in the basement of their home, according to a criminal complaint.
The manufacturing charge carries a prison term of up to 12 years. The possession with intent to deliver charge carries a prison term of up to three years.
The trial is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 20, before Judge John Race. The couple are free on bond.
According to the complaint:
The Walworth County Drug Unit raided adjacent homes, at N1510 and N1518 Geneva Ave, in Linn Township on Jan. 8.
In the home at N1518, investigators found three rooms containing marijuana plants. Also found were grow lights, timers, dehumidifiers, potting soil, chemicals, drying racks, packaging materials and scales.
In addition to the live plants, deputies found 150 grams of trimmed marijuana buds and more than 20 plastic bags containing marijuana.
Amy Rickel told drug unit officials she watered the plants daily. The plants were grown in three cycles and then retailed to buyers, she said. The buds were weighed, packaged and sold separately, she said.
Amy Rickel told investigators she and her husband rent the home at N1510 to store materials for a necktie business.
Freddie Rickel told investigators he learned to grow pot by reading books about it and that he has a “green thumb,” allowing him to make a monthly income of more than $8,000.