Dodge Center man appears on charge of cultivating nearly 30 times the legal limit of cannabis plants
(ABC 6 News) – A Dodge Center man appeared in Dodge County Court Wednesday, Jan. 17, on charges of felony cultivation of more than 23 cannabis plants; felony 3rd-degree drug possession–more than 10 kg cannabis flower; and felony 5th-degree drug possession.
MN law allows adults to grow up to eight cannabis plants in a home, with no more than four being mature, flowering plants.
Growing more than 16 plants in a home, but less than 23 can result in a gross misdemeanor charge, while growing more than 23 is a felony.
Keith Layton Richardson, 41, is accused of growing 233 marijuana plants in his home. Dodge County police also allegedly seized 38 lbs. of marijuana with packaging, four tents allegedly used for growing the marijuana plants, and six tubs allegedly used for growing mushrooms.
According to court documents, in October of 2023, Dodge County law enforcement received a call from the Minnesota Airport police, regarding a package addressed to Richardson.
Court documents allege that the package was flagged because it came from a fictitiously named “ACRG Health Products” from Oregon, where cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use.
According to court documents, a K-9 had been directed to sniff the package, and flagged it for controlled substances — 11 vacuum-sealed marijuana packages, as investigators later discovered.
According to court documents, law enforcement applied for a search warrant and planned to deliver the package, make contact with Richardson, and seize the package as well as any other controlled substances or paraphernalia located.
According to court documents, police searched the home while Richardson was away from the home.
Court documents claim that an investigator located a mushroom-growing setup in the basement of the home. Three mushrooms, weighing 11 grams in all, were sent to the MN BCA for testing, according to charging documents.
Police claim they also found a garage stall enclosed in plastic, which held four growing tents allegedly containing the 233 marijuana plants, as well as clear bags of marijuana flower and a work bench.
Richardson allegedly told police everything he had at the home was hemp or legal cannabis, but did agree that he had more plants than a “homegrown operation.”
Richardson also allegedly said he had been breeding cannabis plants “for years,” and said he makes CBD products in his garage for sale online.
According to court documents, several buds were removed from the plants for BCA testing, and the remaining plants were burned.
Richardson is scheduled to appear for a pretrial hearing Feb. 28, 2024.