URBANA – A Champaign attorney who pleaded guilty to possessing fewer than 50 cannabis plants in his home was sentenced Friday to two years of first offender probation.
The sentence means that Andrew Allen, 55, will escape a conviction if he successfully completes the period of probation.
Still to be determined by Judge Randy Rosenbaum is the value of the plants that the Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force took from Allen’s Bridgestone Drive home on Aug. 20, 2019.
Rosenbaum set a hearing on the street value fine Allen will have to pay for Sept. 23.
Assistant State’s Attorney Kristin Alferink said the police officers did a court-authorized search of Allen’s home, acting on a tip from an informant who told them that for the last 10 years, Allen had been selling cannabis by the pound.
Alferink said police found 122 plants of varying sizes in Allen’s garage and in a bedroom closet.
Task force officer Lance Carpenter testified that the operation in Allen’s garage, including lights and ventilation, was “very sophisticated” compared to other grow operations he had seen in about two years of undercover drug work.
The plants growing inside were not as advanced but appeared healthy, Carpenter said, testifying about the possible yield from a plant and the value of various grades of cannabis.
Allen’s attorney, Jim Dedman of Savoy, told the judge he also wanted to present evidence about the value but was not prepared to do so Friday so Rosenbaum continued the hearing for further evidence.
As part of his sentence, Allen was also ordered to perform 30 hours of public service and get a substance abuse evaluation.
Other charges alleging he had more cannabis plants and possessed a controlled substance – police found 60 tablets of Adderall in the house – were dismissed in return for his plea.
Allen is a personal injury lawyer with an office in Champaign. He’s been a licensed attorney since 1990.
Even with the legalization of adult-use cannabis, private citizens are not allowed to grow more than five plants, police said when Allen was arrested.