By Luke Lavoie, firstname.lastname@example.org
6:12 PM EST, February 21, 2013
A former Baltimore Police technician who pleaded guilty to growing a half-milllion dollars' worth of marijuana plants in his North Laurel basement was sentenced to 90 days in jail in Howard County Circuit Court on Thursday, according to State's attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan.
Manoj P. Unni, 31, of the 9300 block of Cross Timbers Court, will begin serving his sentence on June 1, following the completion of the spring semester of his graduate MBA studies, Kirwan said.
Kirwan said Judge Richard S. Bernhardt called Unni’s actions “a very serious offense” and sentenced him to five years with all but 90 days suspended.
Following his release, Unni will serve three years' probation. Unni was also ordered to pay court costs.
In May of 2011, Howard County Police, acting on an anonymous tip, found 341 plants in Unni's basement. At maturity, that many plants would yield 170 pounds of marijuana.
Police said they also found high-intensity lights, a dehumidifier, air filters, water pumping systems, lighting timers, a carbon dioxide system and a ventilation system, all of which can be used in growing the plants.
Baltimore Police confirmed that Unni worked for the agency as a crime lab technician from 2003 until January 2006.