Sky Friend, owner of New Breed Paintball on Fair Lawn Avenue, turned himself into authorities Friday to begin serving a six-year jail sentence for second-degree possession of a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture and/or distribute.
Friend was arrested last September after Fair Lawn police detectives searched his store -- located just a block-and-a-half from the police department – and turned up 83 marijuana plants, hydroponic growing equipment and $4,692 in cash.
In the store’s basement, police found a 12' x 20' room set up with an elaborate marijuana growing facility, that included a ventilation system, growing lights, air conditioners and a water irrigation system.
Michael Koribanics, Friend’s attorney, called the six-year sentence “reasonable,” and said the 33-year-old first-time offender accepted full responsibility for his actions and admitted he made a mistake.
Friend will serve his time in New Jersey state prison, but the specific facility has yet to be determined. His earliest eligible parole date is in 14 months, Koribanics said.
New Breed Paintball will remain open and in the hands of Friend’s wife while he’s locked up, a store employee said Tuesday.
The employee, who wished not to be identified, said Friend had continued working at the store up until last week when he began serving his sentence.