YouTube pot growing leads to notice to plead guilty
By JAMES A. KIMBLE Union Leader Correspondent
BRENTWOOD — A former Auburn man who showed off the progress of his marijuana growing operation on YouTube with more three dozen videos before he was arrested by deputy sheriffs has agreed to plead guilty instead of going on trial.
Kyle Berry, 41, filed a notice to plead guilty to drug charges stemming from his arrest in November for allegedly growing $16,000 worth of marijuana in his home.
The plea deal was struck just months after Berry was arrested again in Lawrence, Mass., for growing more marijuana in his apartment.
He faces charges of manufacture of a controlled drug, possession of a controlled drug with intent to sell and other charges in the Auburn case.
A judge will ultimately decide on Berry’s sentence at a plea and sentencing hearing on Aug. 27, according to court documents.
Terms about the possible sentence have not yet been made public.
Berry faces up to 7 ½ to 15 years in state prison, but the plea deal signals that he will likely face a lesser sentence in exchange for his guilty plea.
A judge ordered Berry jailed late last month on bail after failing to appear for a bail-revocation hearing.
Prosecutors contended that Berry failed to adhere to bail conditions in light of his his April 22 arrest in Lawrence in another pot-growing case.
He first got the attention of the Rockingham Sheriffs Drug Task Force late last year after posting a series of videos about his indoor marijuana growing operation. One video captured the reflection of Berry’s face on a foil covered wall.
Investigators matched that image with a prior booking photo, used it as evidence to obtain arrest and search warrants.
Berry came to court last month with packet called a “Marijuana Recommendation Kit” that was signed by a Methuen, Mass., doctor.
Berry argued through his public defender that he was only consuming the marijuana because of several medical conditions he has accumulated over the years.
Massachusetts recently passed a medical marijuana law in November. The state’s Department of Public Health is developing regulations, but has yet to create a registration process for patients.