Federal prosecutors: Detroit man had vending machine to sell marijuana and pills

DETROIT — A Detroit man is facing a list of charges after investigators said he had 18 guns illegally and was running a vending machine for drugs out of his home.

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In the criminal complaint outlining the case against Marcellus Cornwell, an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that the bureau began investigating Cornwell in January 2022 after receiving an anonymous tip that Cornwell “had a vending machine on the side of his house that he used to sell marijuana and pills.”

Agents said that they conducted surveillance at Cornwell’s Detroit home and participated in two controlled purchases from the vending machine in February and March 2022.

When agents served a search warrant at the home, they found 18 firearms, dozens of rounds of ammunition, and several kilograms of suspected marijuana in the home.

Cornwell has a criminal history that includes firearm convictions, and is not legally allowed to have a gun, WDIV reported. Cornwell was convicted in 1997 for armed robbery, in 2008 for carrying a concealed weapon, and in 2011 for three counts of identity theft, the station reported.

Marcellus Cornwell Criminal Complaint by National Content Desk on Scribd

When agents interviewed Cornwell, he allegedly told them that had “owned and operated the marijuana vending machine attached to his residence for four (4) years, making approximately $2,000 per day,” according to the criminal complaint. Cornwell also led agents to more than $12,00 in cash that he had in the house.

Agents said they determined that three of the guns recovered in the house had been reported stolen in November 2021.