Detroit man charged for $2,000 a day marijuana vending machine

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
Detroit man charged for $2,000 a day marijuana vending machine
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Federal agents have arrested a Michigan man who had a vending machine set up outside of his home, where he was making $2,000 a day selling marijuana.

A complaint filed in federal court by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) claims that Marcellus Cornwell had a vending machine bolted to the outside of his Detroit home selling marijuana and pills.

Cornwell’s home was raided on March 16, where he told agents that he has been earning up to $2,000 a day for the last four years, which is over $1.5 million per year.

The vending machine was open to the public and took credit cards and even Apple Pay.

“I have to say the brazenness of it was shocking,” said ATF special agent in charge Paul Vanderplow.

ATF agents had been conducting surveillance on Cornwell’s home, and had twice purchased marijuanna from the vending machine, once in February and once in March, the filed complaint says.

Gun Charges Also Added

On top of the marijuana charges, Cornwell is facing charges for being a felon in possession of a firearm. ATF agents seized 18 guns and ammo from his home during their raid, and claimed Cornwell was selling guns out of his house, possibly to minors.

Cornwell has served prison time for past convictions, including: armed robbery, identity theft, and multiple firearm crimes.

Cornwell was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond and conditions that include travel restrictions, reporting requirements and other limitations, such as a ban on operating his vending machine.

“Whether it’s snacks that you’re thinking of having installed in your home or on the side of your home with the vending machine, just don’t do it,” U.S. District Magistrate Judge Jonathan J.C. Grey ordered Cornwell at his April 28 initial court appearance. “This is a unique case that’s been brought to the court’s attention and the court is concerned about the ease with which you allegedly provided narcotics for others.”

As medicinal and recreational marijuana becomes more legal in states across the country, it will be interesting to see not if, but when marijuana vending machines will start appearing like Cornwell’s.

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