When industrious ideas become crimes

When industrious ideas become crimes

 ENTREPRENEUR-FINAL - Law Office of John Freeman

Being an entrepreneur can take various forms. Business based out of the home remains an ever-growing option for commercial enterprises selling a variety of products.

Marcellus Cornwell provided his products via a vending machine outside his house that generated approximately $2,000 daily. After four years of successful sales and profitability, his offerings caught the attention of law enforcement.

Cornwell was selling marijuana and pills.

Law enforcement officials set up surveillance of Cornwell’s residents. Officers also participated in two “marijuana purchases” from the vending machine throughout February and March of 2022. After the second buy, they arrested Cornwell and a partner. In addition to multiple kilograms of pot, officers discovered 18 firearms, with a few identified as stolen.

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A continuing criminal history

Following his arrest, Cornwell admitted that most of his income came from the illicit vending machine. It wasn’t his first encounter with law enforcement, as his criminal history goes back 25 years with several convictions.

In 2018, Michigan became the first Midwest state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana after several years of opposition. The passing of Ballot Proposal 1 meant that residents 21 and older could purchase pot. The victory came ten years following voters’ approval of medical cannabis use.

However, marijuana product sales similar to Cornwell’s “business model” requires state licensing and testing prior to entering the market.

Arrests, regardless of prior criminal history, do not mean that a conviction is imminent. Law enforcement often makes mistakes that violate the rights of suspects they detain. Help from an experienced and accomplished criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between guilt and innocence.