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Update On Green Leaf Raid


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http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20100730/NEWS01/7300330/Williamstown-Twp.-smokers-club-owner-not-a-dealer-attorney-says-w-video

 

MASON -Prosecutors portrayed Fredrick Wayne Dagit in court Thursday as a drug dealer who allowed more than 150 pounds of marijuana to be stored in his home.

 

But the attorney for the 60-year-old owner of Williamstown Township's Green Leaf Smokers Club painted him as a compassionate caregiver who was operating within the spirit of the state's medical marijuana law.The case, Dagit's attorney James White told a judge, "involves a bunch of old guys smoking marijuana."

 

Dagit has been in jail on a $500,000 bond ever since police raided the club as well as his house in Okemos two months ago. According to court documents, police seized more than 225 pounds of marijuana - all of which was provided to Dagit by a confidential informant - as well as about 40 marijuana plants.

 

At Thursday's hearing in 55th District Court, during which prosecutors amended the charges and reduced the maximum sentence Dagit faces from 15 to seven years, Judge Donald Allen agreed to release Dagit on an electronic tether.

 

He is expected to be released within days.

 

After the hearing, White called the initial bond "outrageous," adding that it was "further indication that this was a political issue regarding the marijuana statute."

 

 

The charges

Dagit, who has a medical marijuana card, faces the following charges: Two counts of possession with intent to deliver between 11 and 99 pounds of marijuana; growing 20 or more marijuana plants; maintaining a drug house; and possession of marijuana.

 

A preliminary hearing, which determines if the case advances to trial, had been scheduled for Thursday, but was delayed until Aug. 12.

 

Assistant Prosecutor Bill Crino laid out some of the case against Dagit in court Thursday in arguing a motion about whether he could present certain testimony at the preliminary hearing. Allen ruled that he would allow the testimony.

 

A confidential informant told police that he had been providing Dagit with marijuana since March. Dagit began operating the club in February. Court documents say Dagit paid as much as $35,000 for about 14 pounds of marijuana, although Dagit paid for some and the informant allowed him to buy some on credit.

 

 

Police then used the informant to arrange to sale of more than 100 pounds of marijuana to Dagit.

 

According to court documents: On May 26, the informant met Dagit at his home on Hillcrest Avenue, and put three duffel bags containing about 154 pounds of marijuana in a basement closet to store it there. Dagit gave the informant a key to his house and told the informant he could buy his own lock for the closet.Dagit and the informant agreed that 50 pounds of the marijuana was reserved exclusively for Dagit, according to the documents.

 

Later that same day, the informant delivered about 70 pounds of marijuana to the club. They agreed the total price would be $56,950 and Dagit gave the informant $10,000 in cash as an initial payment.

 

Soon after, officers from the Tri-County Metro Narcotics Squad raided the club with guns drawn. They also searched Dagit's home.

 

 

'Overzealous' team

White called it "a classic case of entrapment" by "an overzealous law enforcement team, who weren't satisfied after being turned away."

 

He said Dagit sometime earlier threw an undercover police officer out of the club after the officer tried to buy marijuana, but didn't have a medical marijuana card.

 

"All of the marijuana that is alleged to have been the source of this crime can be accounted for by patients and/or caregivers that were members of the (club)," White said.

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