Farmington man charged with running marijuana-growing operation
Internships aren't usually illegal, but one Farmington man is facing felony charges after passing along his knowledge to a minor.
Craig Martin Gisch has been charged with three drug-related charges after officers found 28 marijuana plants of varying sizes, multiple pieces of marijuana paraphernalia and more than two pounds of marijuana in his home last May. According to the complaint filed Wednesday in the Dakota County attorney's office, Gisch was also training a minor under the age of 18 to grow, cultivate and sell the drug.
Gisch's grow operation might have gone unnoticed if police had not responded to his home when his wife, Katryna, apparently committed suicide by asphyxiation in the family's garage May 6. Farmington police were initially called to check the welfare of a resident at the Gisch home. When they arrived, they found Katryna Gisch in the garage.
Police then entered the home to make sure no one else was injured or in danger. During that search they found two rooms that contained multiple marijuana plants, grow lights and growing equipment. In a crawl space, they found several additional plants in the drying stage, hanging from the ceiling, the complaint alleges.
The Gisches have three children under the age of 18, according to the complaint. The marijuana found in the Gisch basement was in areas easily accessible to the children.
Farmington officers applied for and received a search warrant. When they returned to the Gisch home to execute the warrant, they found the same items they had seen before as well as $2,000 in cash in Gisch's wallet. Gisch was taken into custody at the time.
Three days later, the Dakota County Drug Task Force received additional information from a confidential informant who was familiar with the home, according to the complaint. The informant suggested there was more to be found in the home's water softener, deep freezer in the garage and in the garage attic.
The drug task force executed a second search warrant May 10 and found additional marijuana in a Tupperware container in the water softner unit, Tupperware containers and glass jars with marijuana in a box in the laundry room, three gallon-sized baggies with marijuana in a cooler in the garage and two gallon-size baggies on the garage shelf. They also found more marijuana paraphernalia in the second search.
All told, police found about 2 pounds, 7.27 ounces of marijuana.
According to the website, PriceofWeed.com, "good" grade marijuana goes for approximately $418 per ounce in Minnesota. That would put the estimated value of the police found at roughly $16,414. The price would be lower for lesser-quality marijuana.
During the investigation, the complaint reads, law enforcement offers learned that Gisch was allegedly employing a person under the age to assist in the cultivation of marijuana.
Gisch also apparently had a helper in his operation.
"The defendant instructed the minor in the growing and selling of marijuana, telling the minor it was necessary for him/her to learn and participate in the cultivation of the plants and to understand how the business worked," the complaint states.
Gisch now faces felony second degree controlled substance charges, as well as gross misdemeanor child endangerment and contributing the delinquency of a minor charges. The second degree controlled substance charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines.