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Saginaw County Drug "busts"

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From a live chat discussion with Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel:



[Comment From Patrick Pulley Patrick Pulley: ]

Sheriff and SPD (ret) do you believe in tempering the behavior of your drug raids in consideration of the circumstances brought from suspect intelligence?



Sheriff Bill Federspiel:

Patrick Pulley, I cannot temper my investigations, but I can scrutinize the suspect intelligence. That is what we try to do on all investigations. If someone wanted to give me a heads up that they are state sanctioned, I would be happy to work with them. And then if we get calls from citizens that the person is violating the law, we can tell the citizens that we've already looked into it and there is no violation.




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Saginaw County Sheriff Defends Seizure At Saginaw Township Man's Home permalinkEdwyn W. Boyke Jr. said it’s surprising to him that sheriff’s deputies didn’t take his rusty, red Weed Wacker.


After all, he said, they did take two lawn mowers, a leaf blower, generator and an air compressor from his garage, in addition to his 2008 Chevy Impala, $62 from his wallet, 52 marijuana plants, five jars of harvested marijuana, Boyke’s medical marijuana card, a dehumidifier, growing apparatuses, scales and a 42-inch Panasonic TV.


Just over a month ago, Saginaw County sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents served Boyke, 64, of Saginaw Township a federal search warrant based on information that Boyke violated marijuana laws.


It was early-afternoon April 15 when Boyke, a state-sanctioned medical marijuana user, said he heard an knock at his front door. After stepping outside his home at 2670 Duane in Saginaw Township, he said he was surrounded by multiple officers with their weapons drawn.


He claims that the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department abused state forfeiture rules — reserved for the confiscation of property belonging to those suspected of engaging in criminal enterprise — when they seized his property and required he pay $5,000 for its return


“They started talking about putting a lien on my house, and that’s what scared me,” said Boyke, a former General Motors Corp. employee who became disabled in 2000.


The Sheriff’s Department doesn’t see it that way.


Saginaw County Sheriff William L. Federspiel, who publicly supported the Medical Marijuana Act during his run for sheriff, said medical marijuana users are not his department’s target.


“We’re not out here trying to find medical marijuana providers and harass them,” Federspiel said. “That’s not it at all. If I don’t know you’re a provider, you’re going to get your door kicked in if we have an active investigation, because we don’t know.”


Law enforcement agencies have no way to determine who the medical marijuana patients are, and that’s a fundamental flaw in the law, Federspiel said. He said the department acts on drug-related tips as they always have, and the fact that marijuana is now legal for some complicates the matter.


“I wish we could just say, ‘Hey, this guy’s got a card, don’t even bother with it,’ but unfortunately we don’t have that option,” Federspiel said. “And so we follow through, because you know what, it’s still against the law, unless you have the medical marijuana card.”


Federspiel maintains the department’s investigation indicated Boyke was in violation of the law, illegally possessed the marijuana and was subject to forfeiture rules.


“My guys wouldn’t hit a house on a search warrant unless they knew it was legitimate,” he said.


Celeste Clarkston, manager of compliance for state Department of Community Health Bureau of Heath Professions in Lansing, said the law forbids the state to share registration information with law enforcers. With about 20,000 patient and caregiver cards now issued statewide, many law enforcement agencies are facing the same dilemma, she said.


Federspiel said he plans to examine the issue with area legislators.


Saginaw County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Randy F. Pfau said no one forced Boyke to pay for the return of the items; Boyke had up to three weeks to appeal the forfeiture.


Property owners “have every right to take it to a formal hearing with a judge,” Pfau said. “And by coming in and paying that $5,000, he’s waiving that right.”


Pfau said forfeiture law requires contesting property owners file a claim with the county clerk within 20 days of the seizure, a copy of the claim with the prosecutor’s office, and pay a surety bond, ranging between $250 and $5,000, which he said is reimbursed if they appear in court.


Boyke said he wasn’t dealing drugs. He said he grows medical marijuana to smoke as treatment for pain stemming from a back injury. He admits noncompliance with portions of the medical marijuana statute.


One of his three basement growing rooms violated state statute because it lacked an operable lock, and he said his inventory surpassed the legal number of plants for a medical marijuana patient or provider.


Before the bust, Boyke said he didn’t realize cloned plants, which he hadn’t yet potted, counted against his allotted number of plants.


“If you violate those provisions that are spelled out clearly in the law, then we have to take action,” Federspiel said. “Otherwise, I’m going to be held responsible for not upholding the law.”


Saginaw County prosecutors haven’t yet charged Boyke with any crimes. Deputies booked and released him the same day, but not before deputies ransacked Boyke’s basement, he said.


The week after the raid, dented light reflectors scattered on the floor of the three grow rooms in Boyke’s basement. Wires that controlled air flow and temperature were cut and hanging from the ceiling; bulbs were smashed and venting removed.


Boyke said deputies and agents inflicted the damage to the $7,000 grow setup he built with his son-in law “to grow medical marijuana.”


“I mean, why did they have to smash everything up?” Boyke said. “Just take the extra plants.”


Pfau said it is department protocol for deputies to destroy or seize all marijuana growing related items when they perform a search or seizure at a suspected grow operation.


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Guest Wayne



The Saginaw County Sheriff is still searching for a matching boat and recreational camper for "HIS" new mustang that was confiscated to fight the war on drugs.

All Saginaw County residents are urged to call 1-555-BILLS STUFF to report any "suspected" criminals in their neighborhoods. Please provide a detailed description of all real estate holdings, vehicles, RV's, boats, high end electronics etc. Your call we be answered in the value received.

Citizen's in impoverished communities suffering current economic downturn are urged to call 1-555-NOBOOTY

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  • 8 years later...

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