- Associated Press - Thursday, October 29, 2015

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) - A southern New Jersey man who admitted to growing marijuana primarily for his personal use has received a split verdict in court.

Jon Peditto was convicted by an Ocean County jury on Thursday of first-degree operating a drug production facility and fourth-degree possession of marijuana. He was found not guilty of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

The Mays Landing man had maintained throughout his trial in Toms River that he grew the 17 marijuana plants found by police in Tuckerton in 2012 mostly for his personal use. But he admitted to selling it to friends and family to help boost his income.

The 54-year-old photographer, who represented himself at trial, says prosecutors are making him out to be a pot tycoon but really he’s just a gardener trying to cultivate a better strain.

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