New Hampshire: Warrant Issued For Man Arrested In YouTube Marijuana Case
By Steve Elliott
A New Hampshire man who was arrested for showing off his marijuana-growing operation on YouTube could be jailed for failing to show up for a Tuesday court hearing.
A judge issued a warrant for Kyle Berry, 40, for failing to appear at a bail-revocation hearing stemming from another pot-growing arrest in Lawrence, Massachusetts, last month, reports James A. Kimble at the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Prosecutors want Berry held without bail until his trial on charges he grew $16,000 worth of marijuana plants at his Auburn, N.H., in November, chronicling his progress on YouTube. Rockingham County deputies said they used the videos -- which accidentally captured Berry's face reflected on a foil-covered wall -- to get arrest and search warrants in the case.
Berry's public defender, Charles O'Keefe, asked the judge to cancel Berry's warrant, saying his client had simply mixed up the court date. Assistant County Attorney Michael Zaino responded on Wednesday by asking a judge to reject that request and schedule a new hearing date.
A Lawrence, Mass., police lieutenant came to court on Tuesday to testify about Berry being arrested in Massachusetts for "manufacturing marijuana" while he was free on bail on the YouTube case from New Hampshire, according to Zaino.
The hearing had to be canceled, Zaino said, because of Berry's failure to appear. He was arrested at his daughter's Massachusetts home on April 22.
His daughter was quite talkative to the cops, telling them she wanted her father out of her apartment due to ongoing arguments with him. She also, unfortunately, saw fit to mention he was growing marijuana in his own apartment as well.
When asked about the marijuana smell coming from his apartment, Berry invited police officers into the place and showed them were cannabis plants were growing in his closet, police said. Berry told police, "It's legal; I have a prescription," and handed them paperwork, according to a police report.
Unfortunately, although the New Hampshire Legislature passed a restrictive medical marijuana bill last month, it still hasn't been signed by Governor Maggie Hassan. Even if it had been signed into law, it still doesn't allow patients to grow their own marijuana; a provision which would have allowed patients to grow up to three plants was removed at the governor's request.
Police arrested Berry and charged him with "manufacturing a controlled substance." They seized lights and fans from the closet, along with 16 marijuana plants.
They also confiscated Berry's cellphone and applied for a search warrant after looking up his previous case.
In New Hampshire, Berry faces felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, manufacture of a controlled substance, and a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.
He faces from 7.5 to 15 years in state prison if he is convicted in the New Hampshire case.
(Photo of Kyle Berry: New Hampshire Union Leader)