Detroit weed vending machine owner pleads guilty to gun charge

A Detroit man pleaded guilty to a firearms charge after a weed vending machine at his home led to a search.

Marcellus Cornwell, 44, pleaded guilty this week to a charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

Last year, authorities received an anonymous tip about a marijuana vending machine attached to his home in the area of Mettetal near Fenkell.

Agents surveilled Cornwell's home and purchased weed twice from the vending machine before searching the home and interviewing Cornwell. According to feds, Cornwell told the agents that he has operated the vending machine for four years, and he makes about $2,000 a day from it. 

After an investigation, authorities searched the home found discovered ammunition, marijuana, and 18 firearms in a basement gun safe. Cornwell had been previously convicted of identity theft, felony firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and armed robbery. Three of the guns that Cornwell possessed had been reported as stolen, authorities said.

Cornwell faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000.

"Firearms pose a danger to our community. These weapons should not be in the hands of convicted felons. The number of weapons this defendant possessed despite being a prohibited person combined with his drug dealing makes his conduct even more egregious," U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said.