Edward Bogunovich claims he has permission from the state of Colorado to grow and distribute marijuana for medical purposes. But police say the grandfather was growing way too much.
Bogunovich was arrested at his Denver, Colorado home on Friday. He faces charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute—more than 100 pounds, cultivation of marijuana—more than 30 plants, and possession of marijuana—more than 12 ounces.
The octogenarian says he and three family members have documents issued by the state of Colorado that allows them to both grow and distribute pot. He is quoted by NBC 2 as saying, "I was a care taker for 24 people for the last year or two. We did nothing wrong. I wouldn't be stupid not to be legal for doing this for four years."
Bogunovich added, "There was no crimes committed. We didn't do nothing. We were trying to be legal. We're going to fight this in the courts."
Not surprisingly, police tell a different story. The Mason County Daily News reports that Denver Police Detective Christopher Shott described Bogunovich's documents in an arrest affidavit as "questionable." According to police, more than 400 plants were found on the senior's property, exceeding the 231 that Bogunovich and his relatives were authorized to cultivate. The seized marijuana weighed more than 100 pounds.
The station also reports Bogunovich says he divested himself of the plants growing on his property and therefore they are not his. He claims to have a notarized document to prove this.
According to 9 News, Bogunovich has a long criminal record going back to the 1960s. On four separate occasions he was convicted of possession or distribution of a dangerous drug. He has also been found guilty of damage to property and possession of marijuana.
The Daily Mail reports hundreds of comments were left on ABC News' Facebook page, most of them favourable to Bogunovich. One commenter wrote, "Leave grandpa alone. He can't feed himself on a fixed income." He told police they should go after real criminals—rapists, murderers, thieves and child molesters. Another commenter wrote "Let him keep his weed. He's 87 years old."
Bogunovich was released on $10,000 bail. He is due back in court on Aug. 16