U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said 30-year-old Kurt Steffen of Summerville pleaded guilty Monday to manufacturing and possessing with intent to distribute 100 or more marijuana plants.
Steffen will be sentenced later and faces up to 40 years in prison. The patrol said Steffen was a trooper from 2007 until his 2009 resignation.
While a trooper, prosecutors said Steffen was part of a large-scale indoor marijuana growing operation.
Nettles said Steffen grew the drugs on a five-acre tract of land in Ridgeville starting in May 2008. During a January 2010 search, deputies found over 300 marijuana plants there.
As part of his guilty plea, Steffen admitted transporting the drugs in his Highway Patrol vehicle.
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