A Montgomery man's sentence has been making headlines across the state this week, following a recent plea deal in a cannabis case where the man possessed 42 pounds of THC infused chocolates that he said were self-medication for cancer.
Kane County Court records show 37 year-old Thomas Franzen of Harmony Dr. was sentenced to four years in the the Illinois Department of Corrections in exchange for more severe cannabis trafficking charges being dropped. He pleaded guilty to Unlawful Possession of More than 5,000 grams of Cannabis, which is a Class 1 felony.
Circuit Judge Clint Hull accepted the plea, and ordered Franzen to reappear in court on June 14 to submit medical tests so the judge can determine when Franzen should begin to serve his prison sentence.
Kane County prosecutors alleged in court that in February 2014, U.S. Postal workers, having noticed a pattern of suspicious parcels being delivered to Franzen, obtained a search warrant and opened a package sent from a California address that was addressed to Franzen.
Prosecutors argued more than 19,000 grams of chocolate infused with THC was found inside.
Authorities including the North Central Narcotics Task Force then served a search warrant at Franzen’s home on Harmony Drive in Montgomery.
Prosecutors allege that inside his bedroom the task force also found cocaine, more than 100 additional grams of marijuana, along with items that are, "known to be evidence of drug dealing."
Franzen's attorney argued that his client has stage three testicular cancer also in his lungs and abdominal cavity and additionally has reoccurring renal cell cancer in his right remaining kidney.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, counsel David Camic said that the judge showed compassion to his client's condition during the sentencing.
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon argued in a statement that Franzen's intent was as, "a drug dealer."
McMahon says,"Mr. Franzen’s lawyer presented no evidence that Mr. Franzen had sought to legally purchase marijuana for medicinal purposes after Illinois’ medical marijuana law took effect" and that, "the amount he purchased far exceeds what would be used for personal consumption and is evidence that he is a drug dealer."
McMahon said recognizing Franzen's medical condition, a 12-year mandatory minimum was reduced to four years of which Franzen will be required to serve two years.