Largest marijuana runner in Homer sentenced

Joseph Gabryszak, the Homer man who was arrested for running, what police called, the biggest marijuana grow operation in the city of Homer’s history has changed his plea. The marijuana plants seized from Gabryszak were worth an estimated $1 – $1.5 million.

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Marijuana plants seized from Gabryzak's rented building (Photo courtesy of the Homer Police Department)
Marijuana plants seized from Gabryzak’s rented building (Photo courtesy of the Homer Police Department)

Joseph Gabryszak pleaded guilty to attempted misconduct with a controlled substance in the 4th degree.

He was arrested in February when police discovered over 1,000 marijuana plants and 59 light ballasts in a building Gabryzak was renting. Homer Police Chief Mark Robl estimated the facility’s startup costs at around $50,000.

Gabryszak was arrested the week before the state began accepting applications for all commercial marijuana license types listed in the 2014 ballot measure to legalize marijuana. He originally faced three felonies and Police Chief Mark Robl said he could have faced up to 15 years in prison.

Gabryszak was sentenced to a year in jail with the bulk of that term suspended. He will serve 60 more days of real jail time. He was also fined $5,000, but that entire amount was suspended.

In addition to the time spent in jail Gabryszak must forfeit all but 9 items seized by police at the time of his arrest. Those items were all electronic appliances: cell phones, a camera, a laptop, a couple of hard drives and a few other items.

Gabryszak must report to the Homer jail at 9:00 am on July 1st.

Quinton Chandler is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

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