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Hearings delayed for 10 medical marijuana defendants

September 5, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 04:  A medical marijuana...
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Jennifer Chambers / The Detroit News

Last Updated: September 02. 2010 3:54PM

Ferndale — Ten defendants charged in Oakland County’s first large-scale medical marijuana raid were ordered today to return to court Sept. 20, when a judge is to set a date for a preliminary exam.

Seven of the 10 defendants charged in connection with a narcotics raid on Clinical Relief, a medial marijuana clinic in Ferndale, appeared this afternoon before Judge Joseph Longo in 43rd District Court. Three were absent because of a death in the family, attorney Amy J. Bowen-Krane said in court. Several defendants still needed to hire attorneys.

Longo allowed all of the defendants to waive their right to a preliminary exam within 14 days and ordered those without attorneys to get them.

Among those charged in the case are Derek A. Anderson, 29 of Ferndale; Anthony J. Agro, 42, Troy; Barbara M. Johnson, 40, Leonard; Matthew Curtis, 39, Lake Orion; and Ryan M. Fleissner, 30, of Livonia. Also charged are Ryan Richmond, Nicholas Agro, Barbara Agro, Angelina Veseli and Stacey Ellenbrook.

The suspects were arrested after a raid at Clinical Relief in Ferndale on Aug 25. Another 10 defendants were arrested by the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team as the result of an undercover investigation into two medical marijuana clinics in Waterford Township.

Curtis, one of the co-owners of Clinical Relief, said his clinic, which he says sold medical marijuana to state certified patients, is closed.

“We want to find out from the courts what we’ve done wrong,” Curtis said.

On Tuesday, the 10 defendants in the Waterford case waived preliminary hearings in the 51st District Court in Waterford on charges of illegal manufacture, sale, possession and use of marijuana.

In that case, the judge refused to modify the bonds for the 10 suspects, a move that would have allowed them to use medical marijuana while they wait for their cases to proceed through the legal system.

The other establishments raided were Everybody’s Café, a restaurant and compassion club on Airport Road in Waterford, and Herbal Remedies, a marijuana dispensary on Williams Lake Road.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard likened the businesses to “organized crime” rather than compassionate care for the chronically ill. In court, detectives detailed illegal marijuana sales in large quantities made by owners and employees inside the Waterford business, and sometimes in parking lots at local restaurants and drug stores.

Authorities alleged violations of Michigan medical marijuana laws, which permit people who have obtained a physician’s referral and a state-issued card to legally obtain and use marijuana. Caregivers can grow and provide marijuana to up to five patients under the act.

jchambers@detnews.com (313) 222-2269

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100902/METRO02/9020482/1361/Hearings-delayed-for-10-medical-marijuana-defendants#ixzz0yfpEUeqI

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