Convicted drug grower will have record cleared


A Finksburg man who last year pleaded guilty to growing enough marijuana to keep someone "high for the next 20 years" will have the conviction wiped from his criminal record, a Carroll Circuit judge ruled yesterday.

Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. granted James Carl Prodoehl's request for probation before judgment. The ruling means Prodoehl, 30, of the 2900 block of Bloom Road will have a conviction for manufacturing marijuana taken off his record after he completes four more years of probation.

Last January, Prodoehl pleaded guilty to the charge and was given a suspended five-year prison sentence. He also agreed to forfeit his Chevrolet Corsica to the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force, as well as pay the drug group $3,000 to stop forfeiture proceedings on his home. He was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine.

The drug task force raided Prodoehl's house in July 1992. In the house, officers reported finding more than 50 "beautiful, fully budded plants," 3 pounds of dried marijuana and paraphernalia.

Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III said at the time that the street value of the marijuana was $200,000 to $300,000.

He said there was enough pot "to keep [someone] high for the next 20 years."

In Prodoehl's written request for probation before judgment, filed in January 1993, he estimated that the conviction has cost him $15,000 to $20,000.

He has no prior record and maintained that he never "sold for profit" any of the marijuana that he grew at his house.

He is the president of a moving company and continues to live at his Finksburg home with his fiancee, the request says.

Except for this conviction and several minor traffic convictions, Prodoehl says he doesn't have a criminal record.

"He earnestly wishes to avoid being marked with a criminal record for the rest of his life and respectfully requests that [the court] allow him to prove that he is worthy of such . . . consideration," his attorney wrote in the request for probation.

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