After retirement, Louis and Sandi Bussanich decided to grow marijuana to supplement their income.
They invested $50,000 in the operation, which they ran on their land outside Eatonville with their son and a man he met in prison, court records show.
It eventually grew to a sizable marijuana farm that was discovered in May after Louis Bussanich allegedly shot his son’s friend in the leg as he tried to steal pot.
Now, Louis Bussanich, 64, Sandi, 65, their son, Jason, 40, and his friend, Scott Sheldon, 35, are charged with unlawfully manufacturing a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. They are not in custody and have not yet been arraigned.
According to court documents:
Jason Bussanich and Sheldon met in prison and decided to grow and sell marijuana. Louis and Sandi Bussanich agreed to help, and the group started with 14 plants in March 2012.
Father and son built structures in which to grow the pot. Sheldon had a medical marijuana authorization; Jason Bussanich obtained one in April; his parents got them after May to “protect themselves.”
Sheldon worked as the distributor. He was supposed to give the Bussaniches two-thirds of whatever he made selling the pot. The family estimates they made $110 to $120 an ounce.
On May 14, Sheldon came to the property and asked for marijuana. Louis Bussanich refused because Sheldon had not yet paid for the last batch of marijuana he took. The men got into a fistfight, and Sandi Bussanich ran inside to call 911.
Louis Bussanich grabbed a .22-caliber rifle and shot Sheldon in the leg as he fled.
When deputies searched the property, they found 10 glass jars of marijuana, a large amount of drying marijuana, 256 plants, a 60-gallon bag with marijuana debris, and equipment used to grow and harvest the drug.