Home monitoring, GPS requirements lifted for Woosung man

Joshua T. Anderson

OREGON – An Ogle County judge agreed Tuesday to lift two pretrial conditions for a Woosung man charged with unlawful possession with the intent to deliver more than 5,000 grams of cannabis.

Judge John “Ben” Roe granted a defense motion to remove home detention and GPS monitoring for Joshua T. Anderson, 38.

Roe lifted the conditions during a short hearing Tuesday with Assistant State’s Attorney Matthew Leisten, Anderson and his attorney, Aaron Buscemi of Rockford.

Anderson was arrested April 10 after the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit executed a search warrant at his home in the 700 block of South Central Street in Woosung.

Police said they seized more than 46 pounds of cannabis with an estimated street value of more than $200,000 after what they described as a lengthy investigation.

Anderson is charged with unlawful possession with the intent to deliver more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, possession of 20 to 50 cannabis plants, and possession of less than 15 grams of a substance containing the painkiller tramadol.

Anderson has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and testified May 1 that he has a medical marijuana card and was growing the plants for his own use.

The defense motion to lift the conditions argued that an April 11 detention order did not state a basis for the court’s finding that GPS monitoring or home confinement was necessary.

Buscemi argued that according to state statute, electronic monitoring and home confinement only should be ordered if the defendant is a flight risk or to protect a person from imminent threat of serious physical harm.

He said ordering electronic monitoring, GPS monitoring or home confinement was in “direct contravention of the clear and unambiguous language of the statue.”

On Tuesday, Leisten told Roe that the state was not challenging the defense motion.

Roe set Anderson’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 26.

During Anderson’s preliminary hearing, Judge John Redington ruled that probable cause existed to continue the case after hearing testimony from Deputy John Shippert, a member of the Special Operations Unit for the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office, and Anderson.

Shippert said 27 cannabis plants taller than 6 inches were seized during the search, as were vacuum bags, a bag sealer and scales. He said those items indicated to him that there was an intent to deliver the cannabis. He said ledgers also were found but not investigated.

Anderson testified that he has had a medical marijuana card for at least eight years, and some of the plants were slated to be destroyed after the strongest ones were selected to complete their growing cycle. He said the ledgers kept track of his “cannabis-consulting clients” and all of the cannabis found was slated for his personal use.

During detention hearings, a judge determines whether to release a defendant from custody as the case proceeds through the court system. Criteria used by judges to make that decision include the nature of the alleged offenses, whether the defendant’s release would pose a “clear and present danger” to the community or certain individuals, and whether the defendant is considered to be a “flight risk” and likely will not appear again for scheduled court cases.

Tuesday was Anderson’s fifth court appearance since the charges were filed.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.