Pine Barrens marijuana grower convicted of drug manufacturing

TOMS RIVER — A man who admitted to growing 17 cannabis plants in the Pine Barrens in 2012 was convicted Thursday of maintaining a drug manufacturing facility, the most serious charge against him.

After nearly six hours of deliberations, the jury returned a guilty verdict on two of the four counts filed against Jon Peditto, 54, of Mays Landing.

Along with the mainting a drug facility charge, Peditto was found guilty of possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana. The jury, however, returned a not guilty verdict on two counts of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Prosecutors said Peditto faces a minimum of 10 years in state prison.

The verdict angered activists and family members who attended the court hearing in support of Peditto. Peditto's brother wiped back tears as the verdict was read and left the courtroom in a hurry, shouting at a news...

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