Iowan makes plea deal in pot growing case

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — One of four people accused of growing marijuana in the eastern Iowa town of Long Grove has pleaded guilty.

The Quad-City Times says (http://bit.ly/VF2V3F ) 49-year-old Stephen Bloomer made his plea Monday as jury selection began in a Davenport courtroom. Bloomer faces five years in prison when he's sentenced on Aug. 21 on one count of manufacturing marijuana. Prosecutors dropped two other charges in exchange for Bloomer's plea.

The plea deal includes a requirement that Bloomer testify truthfully against 48-year-old Benton Mackenzie and his wife, 43-year-old Loretta Mackenzie, and their 22-year-old son, Cody Mackenzie.

Bloomer is a longtime friend of Benton Mackenzie, who has said he needed the marijuana to treat his terminal cancer. A judge already has ruled that Benton Mackenzie can't use his ailment as a defense.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

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