A down-on-his-luck rural mechanic who won a staggering 22.5 million dollar lottery jackpot, just prior to his trial for growing 500 pot plants in his ramshackle farm house cellar, walked into a London, Ontario courtroom with an unshakable sense of confidence. No matter what crap Judge Deborah Livingstone would fling at this first time farming felon, Bernie Nauss, aged 60, would emerge a winner.
“The marijuana escapade is the most tragic thing he has ever done,” defence lawyer Joe Foreman told the court, “He has never been involved in the drug trade and would not have been, had he never listened to someone he thought had more brains than he did.”
Prosecutors quibbled that the pot plants were worth at least $123,000, the grow room itself at about $10,000, and called for a six month prison term for the recent multi-millionare to whom this was all loose change and an uneventful change of address at worst.
“Certainly your present circumstances are very unusual” remarked the Judge on passing sentence, licking her lips at a a whack of cash her Honour could never earn herself in an entire lifetime of sending people to jail.
The Court heard how the couple had given frequent and generous amounts of their lottery fortune to charity since their sudden windfall? “But the money has brought them headaches as well as financial comfort” their lawyer pointed out. His client, “Moneybags” Nauss, has faced “absolutely shocking pressure from panhandling strangers and slick media types who think nothing of knocking on their door at all hours.”
Despite this injection of chaos into their simple routine, they remained rustic recluses, poking around the long time family farm rather than escaping to some exotic island retreat.
Indoor doobie-rancher Bernie Nauss pleaded guilty to cultivation and possession for the purposes of trafficking. He was ordered to pay a piddley $25,000 fine to anti-addiction centres, perform 120 hours of community service, and prohibited from possessing a firearm for ten years.
At least Bernie and Kim got their basement cleaned for free by the RCMP Drug Squad.