Man Milked Cash from Pot Vending Machine

Stephen Andrews
10 May 2022

A Detroit man reportedly made $2,000 each day after installing a weed vending machine outside his home. This was supposedly his primary source of income until officials busted his property and seized dozens of firearms apart from his stash of cannabis. The man, who is also alleged to have sold drugs and guns to minors, now faces up to 10 years in prison, according to media reports.

The man in question is Marcellius Cornwell. In January this year, officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (AFT) obtained information that he was using a vending machine outside his home to sell "marijuana and pills." But that's probably not his worse wrongdoing. Allegations include he sold drugs and guns to teenagers.

After collecting the information on Cornwall's activities, AFT agents conducted surveillance on the man's property and were able to purchase twice from the vending machine. 

Court papers reveal AFT agents used the vending machine for the first time on 18 February and were allegedly able to purchase 5.28 of marijuana. They bought the second time on 1 March and were compensated with 4.1g of weed. Subsequently, a search warrant was issued on the address, with officials seizing 18 firearms, ammunition, and a more significant amount of cannabis. 

Three of the weapons found on the property were determined to have been stolen in November 2021, documentation of the case reveals.

In an interview with police, Cornwell reportedly said he could earn around $2,000 a day from the vending machine and that this was his main source of income. 

"During the interview, Cornwell advised that he has resided at the Mettetal address his entire life and occupies the upstairs bedroom with the safe in front of the dresser near the bedroom door," a criminal complaint reads. 

"Cornwell has owned and operated the marijuana vending machine attached to the residence for four years, making approximately $2,000 per day," it goes on to say. 

"Cornwell continued to state that he makes the majority of his living from the marijuana vending machine," it says. 

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Jonathan J.C. Grey commented: "This is a unique case that's been brought to the court's attention and the court is concerned about the ease with which you allegedly provided narcotics for others."

Cornwell is currently banned from operating the marijuana vending machine or possessing any weapon. He is scheduled to appear in the district court for a preliminary examination on 19 May. 

Stephen Andrews