The Fulton County man behind an operation that peddled marijuana-laced snacks to metro high schools will soon be headed to jail.
But the punishment given to Addae Simmons could have been far more painful.
The 20-year-old Fairburn man had until today to accept the sentence after offering a non-negotiated guilty plea on charges he manufactured marijuana with the intent to distribute. Prosecutors proposed sending Simmons to prison for 10 years.
Magistrate Melynee Leftridge suggested five years on probation. She also wanted him to serve two days a week over the next year in the Fulton County jail.
Simmons took the deal.
Trill Treats came to light after a group of parents approached the FOX 5 I-Team furious that their teenage daughters arranged to have marijuana-laced snacks delivered to a Sweet 16 birthday party. One girl ate too much and had to be hospitalized.
"You out here trying to make a dollar and you could have took my child's life," one mother complained about Simmons. "And it would have take everything I had not to take his."
The parents asked us not to use their names.
A FOX 5 producer became one of the Trill Treats 4100 Instagram followers and placed an order. Simmons met us in a Douglasville parking lot.
Douglasville police eventually made two undercover buys of their own, charging Simmons with multiple felonies. When Fulton County police searched the Fairburn home Simmons shares with his parents, they testified they found a marijuana snack manufacturing operation spread across the kitchen, dining room, and garage. Investigators said Simmons even kept detailed ledgers of who was working for him, in which high schools, and listed a $5000 monthly profit for Trill Treats.
Judge Leftridge appeared moved by Simmons' lack of any criminal history. He graduated from high school and clearly had community support in the courtroom. She felt like he deserved a chance to get his life on the right track.
"I feel you're not lost yet and that you have great potential for rehabilitation," she told him from the bench.
In addition to reporting to the Fulton County jail two days each week for the next year, Simmons is banned from visiting any high school in Georgia. The only exception: when he delivers his mandatory 20 speeches to high school students about his experiences after choosing to be on the wrong side of the law.
Simmons still faces felony charges in Douglas County. That trial has not been scheduled.