Detroit felon busted after discovery of weed vending machine

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

The city of Detroit is unique. It’s the only city that can really serve as its own setting in a dystopian film. If you need the rundown, collapsing ruin of Detroit is 2067, you can just use the 2022 version and no one will blink an eye.


It worked for Robocop, after all.

The crime rate is awful in the Motor City and the auto industry that gave the city its moniker just isn’t the big moneymaker for the city, or its people, that it used to be.

Yet I have to hand it to at least one recently arrested criminal. He definitely gets points for style if nothing else.

A marijuana vending machine in Detroit led investigators to a felon with numerous guns, federal agents said.

According to authorities, a home on Mettetal near Fenkell has a vending machine used to sell weed and pills. Feds began investigating after receiving a tip about 43-year-old Marcellus Cornwell in January.

Agents surveilled Cornwell’s home and purchased weed twice from the vending machine before searching the home and interviewing Cornwell in March.

According to feds, Cornwell told the agents that he has operated the vending machine for four years, and he makes about $2,000 a day from it.

$2,000 per day?

Clearly, I’m in the wrong line of work. Ah, that pesky sense of right and wrong coupled with my allergy to jail cells.

Now, let’s keep in mind that this is an armed felon who had a marijuana vending machine on his porch for four years. It was well-known enough that he made $2,000 a day from it, and the police in Detroit were oblivious to its existence for years.

Yeah, the guns mentioned are how this story popped up on my radar, but I can’t help but think that this is one of those times we can start to see part of the reason why Detroit has so many problems.


Cornwell is creative, I’ll give you that, of course. Most dealers do the whole street corner thing, making them prime targets for police. Cornwell worked out how to sell weed even when he was asleep. It’s brilliant.

It’s also criminal.

While I’m not in favor of laws banning marijuana personally, but the law is the law.

And, of course, it would behoove me to point out that as a felon, Cornwell couldn’t lawfully own guns, yet he managed to not just get marijuana, which is illegal, but firearms as well.

I’ve long argued that if people can get drugs, they can get guns as well. I know I’m not alone in arguing that and I’m sure I wasn’t the first to argue it, either. Yet this is another example of just how true that is. Cornwell allegedly was armed despite all the laws and he had enough of a supply of marijuana to make more than most attorneys and doctors do.

While none of that is good news, I can say there’s one upside to Cornwell’s alleged creativity. Guess who doesn’t need Biden to forgive his student loans?

If only he’d directed that entrepreneurship in a more useful direction. Detroit might just need something like that, though legal, if they hope to end their long dystopian nightmare.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member