* June 6…
A suburban man who, according to his defense attorney, bought over 40 pounds of drug-infused candy to self-medicate as he battled cancer, was sentenced to four years in prison.
Thomas J. Franzen, 37, pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in exchange for the sentence, the Kane County state’s attorney’s office said.
In a statement, prosecutors said they dropped the more serious charge of drug trafficking that carries a minimum sentence of 12 years in “recognition of the seriousness of Mr. Franzen’s medical condition.” […]
In 2014, authorities found a 42 pounds of THC-infused chocolate in a package shipped from California to Franzen’s home in west suburban Montgomery, prosecutors said.
Officers later searched Franzen’s home and found cocaine, over 100 additional grams of marijuana and other items used for drug dealing, prosecutors said. They allegedly found a digital scale, $2,000 in cash, ledgers used to track drug sales and packaging materials.
* Same date…
Franzen has stage four cancer and was using the chocolates to “self-medicate” and relieve himself from symptoms, such as nausea, [defense attorney David Camic] said.
According to an August 2018 court petition for an expert to evaluate whether Franzen was fit to stand trial, Franzen was suffering from testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and abdominal cavity.
According to the motion, Franzen also had a reoccurrence of renal cell cancer in one of his kidneys, and Camic was concerned Franzen could not assist in his defense by providing an “accurate recitation of the facts” of the case. It was unclear whether a judge heard from an expert before Franzen’s guilty plea late last week.
Franzen gets credit for seven days served at the Kane County jail before he could post bond. He also can have his prison term cut in half for good behavior.
* June 14…
After Franzen’s guilty plea, Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said members of the North Central Narcotics Task Force, a unit of the state police, searched Franzen’s home after his arrest and found “evidence of drug dealing,” such as ledgers, more than $2,000, a digital scale, hashish oil, paraphernalia, and receipts for packages he mailed across the country and Canada. […]
Camic disagreed with McMahon’s assessment, arguing Franzen was reselling items on eBay and other online sites.
“My client was not selling drugs,” Camic said. “What he was selling was sneakers, vintage clothing, vintage toys and sporting goods.”
A Montgomery cancer patient sentenced to four years in prison for having 42 pounds of THC-infused chocolates mailed to his home in 2014 has petitioned Gov. Pritzker for a pardon or to have the sentence commuted so he can receive treatment at home.
Since he was sent to prison last month, Thomas J. Franzen, 37, has lost 20 pounds and is not getting the medical care he was promised, according to his petition filed by attorney David Camic. […]
In the petition, Camic details his client’s turbulent childhood and history of fighting various forms of cancer, which began with testicular cancer that now has spread to his lungs and other organs. The petition also notes Franzen was one of the first Illinois residents to receive a medical marijuana card in 2016 and this was his first conviction of any kind. […]
“His crime was motivated by an attempt to mitigate his pain and symptoms through the use of cannabis. His medical need to use cannabis is verified and supported by the fact he was granted a medical use card,” read part of the petition.
The petition also included letters and other documentation from his doctor, along with 19 letters of support from friends, his employer and relatives, including his uncle Chuck Nelson, who also serves as Aurora deputy mayor.
On Thursday, Pritzker’s press secretary Jordan Abudayyeh confirmed that the governor will “review the request.” David Camic, Franzen’s attorney, said he and his client are “gratified that the governor is reviewing our petition.”
“If he gives it the careful consideration we know he will that he will at minimum commute Mr. Franzen’s sentence,” said Camic, who submitted the petition on behalf of Franzen.