Accusations of marijuana trafficking dissolved in Rock County Court on Thursday as a former Janesville woman pleaded guilty to reduced charges and was ordered to pay fines.
Melissa A. Murphy, 40, now of Riverside, California, was charged in February with possession with intent to deliver THC and maintaining a drug-trafficking place, as was her husband, David E.J. Flynn, 41, of the same address.
Sheriff’s deputies reported finding 7.5 ounces of marijuana at their former residence on Janesville’s northeast side in February.
But in court Thursday, Assistant District Attorney James Woywod said the evidence could not support the felony charges.
Woywod agreed to lower the charges to misdemeanor marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession in exchange for a guilty plea.
Deputies were searching for child pornography when they raided the couple’s house on Parkwood Drive in February and found evidence of a “deconstructed” marijuana-growing operation and marijuana stored in jars, Woywod said.
There was no evidence of marijuana sales, such as people coming and going from the house or large amounts of cash, Woywod said.
Defense attorney David Anderson said Murphy has no previous criminal history and had been prescribed marijuana by a doctor when she lived in California and found it beneficial for “certain ailments.”
Anderson said there was no evidence the marijuana was for anything but personal use, and there was no evidence the grow equipment was used in Wisconsin.
Judge Karl Hanson noted marijuana possession is legal in California but not in Wisconsin.
“From what I see in court, whatever positive aspects might be out there from THC under medical supervision I believe are far outweighed by the detriment I see in the community,” Hanson said. “I see cases where people are shooting each other. There are aggravated robberies. It really leads to some harm.”
Hanson fined Murphy $500 on each offense.
Flynn still faces the marijuana trafficking charges and eight counts of possession of child porn. He has pleaded not guilty to both.