ROME TWP. (WWJ/AP) – A southeastern Michigan farmer who dodged a prison sentence for growing 8,000 marijuana plants is losing his house and 23-acre farm.

An attorney for Ed and Linda Schmieding, ages 62 and 63, said the couple is not fighting a forfeiture claim by a Michigan State Police drug unit. The property was in jeopardy because it was the site of the marijuana operation in Lenawee County’s Rome Township.

Schmieding pleaded guilty in Detroit federal court but was sentenced only to probation in June. Judge Bernard Friedman said Schmieding had made mistakes but “lived a good life.”

A trial over the property had been scheduled for Tuesday in Adrian, but attorney James Daly said it would have been difficult to win.

“I advised both the Schmiedings to put this behind them and to move on,” Daly told The Daily Telegram. “The forfeiture laws in Michigan are really tough.”

Schmieding began growing marijuana in 2010 after years of growing cut flowers and other plants. In all, police confiscated 8,259 marijuana plants, 56 bags equaling approximately 25 pounds of marijuana processed for sale, and about 100 bags of marijuana seeds marked with dates as early as 2006.

Officials said the plants were in various stages of growth, from seedlings to mature plants ready for harvest. Several more fields were located that were being prepared for additional growing plots. The entrance to the property was fortified with a locked gate. Also seized were numerous grow lights, watering system, and ventilation equipment.

Agent Lloyd Hopkins said Linda Schmieding told police they were paid $500 a week for marijuana and some pot was sold as medical marijuana.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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