Auburn man gets 8 months in jail for pot operation seen on YouTube
BRENTWOOD – An Auburn man who put videos of his marijuana-growing operation on YouTube was sentenced to eight months behind bars Tuesday, failing to convince a judge he deserved leniency due to medical conditions he claimed to suffer.
Kyle Berry, 41, pleaded guilty to a single count of manufacturing a controlled drug as part of a deal that sent him to county jail for growing approximately $16,000 worth of marijuana inside his Auburn apartment in January.
Berry claimed that he only grew the marijuana to deal with a variety of medical issues, after suffering from 17 surgeries and taking medications that clouded his judgment.
Last month, Berry also showed prosecutors a “Marijuana Recommendation Kit” that was signed by a Methuen, Mass., doctor.
Massachusetts passed a medical marijuana law in November, but that state’s Department of Public Health is only now developing regulations and has yet to create a registration process for patients.
Assistant County Attorney Jerome Blanchard said Tuesday that Berry only claimed he suffered from medical issues after his arrest.
Berry’s postings on YouTube showed the progress of his growing operation, including what types of seeds and fertilizer he used, according to Blanchard.
One comment Berry made on the website after his arrest claimed he was growing marijuana for a sick aunt, according to prosecutors.
Judge Marguerite Wageling imposed a 12-month sentence, with four months suspended. She questioned Berry’s veracity about growing the pot to deal with his medical issues and said he “can’t be all that smart” for posting the video footage on YouTube.
Berry has already spent 83 days behind bars, which will count toward his jail sentence. He was fined $500 and will remain on probation for a year.
Berry first came to the attention of the Rockingham County Drug Task Force late last year when they got a tip about his videos on YouTube.
One video captured the reflection of Berry’s face on a foil-covered wall. A detective matched the face to a prior booking photo.
Berry was arrested again on April 22 in Lawrence, Mass., in another pot-growing case while free on bail.
Had he been convicted at trial, Berry could have faced up to 7 ½ to 15 years in state prison.