Couple pleads guilty to growing marijuana

LISBON – A New Waterford couple accused of participating in growing 31 marijuana plants on their property pleaded guilty in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Friday to a lesser charge of attempted cultivation of marijuana.

Investigators checking the property with a federal search warrant on Aug. 27, 2012, found the 31 plants growing at three different locations throughout the property of Russell F. Rogers Jr., 65, and Roberta L. Rogers, 67, Carter Road, New Waterford. The marijuana weighed 11,821 grams or about 26 pounds.

Initially, the Rogers were charged with cultivation of marijuana, a third-degree felony, along with another family member, Darin F. Rogers, 30. The younger Rogers was eventually found to be incompetent to stand trial and the charge against him was dismissed in April.

The new charge Russell Rogers pleaded guilty to is a fourth-degree felony, with a maximum possible sentence of 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. Roberta Rogers pleaded to a fifth-degree felony attempted cultivation of marijuana, which carries a possible maximum sentence of 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine.

He will be sentenced on Aug. 14, and she will be sentenced on Aug. 15.