• Man sentenced in pot-growing case
    March 15,2013
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    Man sentenced in pot-growing case

    BENNINGTON — An Arlington man received a deferred sentence after pleading guilty on Monday to a felony charge of growing marijuana at his home.

    Shane Leland, 22, of Arlington, was arraigned in Bennington criminal court in November on a felony count of cultivation of more than three marijuana plants. On Monday, he pleaded guilty to that charge and a new misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.

    On the felony charge, Leland’s sentence will be deferred for three years. If he has no further legal trouble in that time, the charge will be removed from his record. For the misdemeanor, Leland was sentenced to serve one to three months in prison but all of the time was suspended and he was placed on probation.

    Leland was arrested after Neila Yardley, Leland’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his children, complained to police in September that Leland was growing marijuana at his home in Arlington where the children, who are 1 and 2 years old, were living. Yardley brought a marijuana plant to the Vermont State Police barracks in Shaftsbury to prove her claim, police said.

    Yardley claimed Leland had grown and sold marijuana during their relationship when they lived together but during the sentencing hearing on Monday, prosecutors said there was no evidence Leland had ever grown marijuana for any purpose other than his own use.
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