TOMS RIVER - A southern New Jersey man who was found guilty last year of growing marijuana is heading to prison.

Jon Peditto was sentenced to eight years in prison on Friday in a Toms River court. He must serve a third of his sentence before he can become parole eligible.

Peditto was convicted by a jury in October of operating a drug production facility and marijuana possession.

The Mays Landing man had maintained that he grew the 17 marijuana plants found by police in Tuckerton in 2012 mostly for his personal use. He also admitted to selling it to friends and family.

The 54-year-old photographer, who represented himself, has said prosecutors are making him out to be a pot tycoon. Peditto says he's a gardener trying to cultivate a better strain.