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27 Indicted In West Michigan Medical Marijuana Trafficking Ring. :(

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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A joint task force has arrested 27 people and seized 500 marijuana plants following an investigation stretching across several counties in West Michigan.


Wednesday, police from multiple agencies executed search warrants at 28 different locations and consent searches at three more locations. It resulted in the arrest of 27 people and the seizure of marijuana and cash from drug sales.

Investigators say The Medical Marijuana Team (MMT) had operations in Rothbury, Grand Rapids, Walker, Traverse City and a half dozen other locations in five counties, but primarily they worked out of Muskegon.


According to court documents, Shawn Taylor was the leader of the Medical Marijuana Team. During a year-long investigation, drug enforcement agents say more than two dozen defendents secured medical marijuana cards from so called "weed doctors." But the patients far exceeded the limits for production and posession outlined in the law for patients and care providers.


Instead of patients dealing with pain and suffering, court dcouments say the co-conspirators harvested the marijuna from their various grow locations and quickly sold it for $2,500 to $2,800 per pound. Investigators say the earned hundreds of thousands of dollars and bought houses, land, and other items to launder the money.


Detectives used secret surveillance, wire taps, and informants to collect evidence on the group. The defendants represent many West Michigan communities and all are charged with conspiracy to manufacture and deliver marijuana.


All of the 27 suspects were transported Wednesday to Kent County Jail. They were charged Thursday in Grand Rapids Federal Court on drug charges. The suspects include:

  • Kimberly Monique Adema
  • Calvin Joseph Brown
  • Merribeth Devries
  • Kevin Lee Downey
  • Curtis Daniel Fairchild
  • Benjamin Allen Fialek
  • Erin Nicole Forestier
  • Cody Andrew Fyre
  • Brandon Edward Goerbig
  • Casie Lynne Hanis
  • Nathan Edward Hanis
  • Douglas Lee Harjer
  • Debora Kay Housley
  • James Stanley Housley
  • Robert James Housley
  • Vanessa Kay Housley
  • Braden Daniel Kasper
  • Lori Lynn Larabel
  • William Ernest May
  • Dalton James Miller
  • James Lee Moore
  • Nicholas Patrick Perri
  • David James Searer
  • Molly Ann Taylor
  • Shawn Andrew Taylor
  • Leslie Ann Wimmer
  • Robert Dorr White

The operation was a collaboration which included over 160 officers from the Kent County Sheriff Department, West Michigan Enforcement Team, East Grand Rapids Public Safety Department, Grandville Police, Grand Rapids Police, Grand Haven Public Safety Department, Kalamazoo Public Safety Department, Oceana County Sheriff Department, Muskegon Police, Muskegon County Sheriff Department and Walker Police.


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You should read the complaint on this one.  It's a doozie.  They even got recorded phone calls of ring leaders pushing others in the circle to sell more weed because they have to pay for a bunch of land they just bought.


Btw, this was a "daisy chain" operation.  Conspiracy charges were brought against people within the ring.  That's exactly what I was warning about in this type of situation.  The DEA started using the conspiracy charges back in the mid-90s.

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this is why you never trust the news articles.




so is it 500 plants or 500 pounds?


wheres the criminal complaint? i cant seem to find it.


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  • 5 months later...

"More than 160 officers took part in the investigation, called “Operation High Mileage.”  "Detectives used secret surveillance, wire taps, and informants to collect evidence on the group."  Any one care to calculate the cost of this operation to tax payers (this question is rhetorical).

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This is the last I could find on this. I'm guessing that some of the arresting officers had to learn to read and write before they could continue.


Muskegon-Area Federal Medical Marijuana Bust Goes Bust

Posted by XLFD on October 22, 2013 at 12:53am


Last week a couple of dozen folks in western Michigan were arrested by a variety of police agencies, led by a Federal effort with intel from Ohio.  These included 160 officers from these Federal, State and Local agencies:

• The U.S. Attorney's Office
• The DEA's Grand Rapids and Detroit field offices
• The Department of Justice
• The Kent County Sheriff's Department
• Michigan State Police's West Michigan Enforcement Team (WEMET)
• MSP's State, Sheriffs, Chiefs Enforcement Narcotics Team (SSCENT)
• MSP's Traverse Narcotics Team (TNT)
• The East Grand Rapids Department of Public Safety
• Grandville Police Department
• Grand Rapids Police Department
• The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety
• The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety
• The Oceana County Sheriff's Department
• The Muskegon Police Department
• The Muskegon County Sheriff's Department
• Walker Police Department


But it looks as if they acted a little too quick.  The US Attorney has filed motions to dismiss the criminal complaints against these individuals.  Now they may eventually come back to charging these ladies and gentlemen for something eventually when they have their drugs in a row, but can you imagine the potential damage that some of these people may face with their reputation for getting arrested and all this negative publicity when they may have been doing nothing more than using medical marijuana within the State's guidelines, or just associating with those that do.


Even if you are against marijuana for any use, you have to wonder about whether this effort deserved such use of police resources, why it resulted in such a confused mess, and whether we will see the wronged citizens fight back against this botched effort that almost makes it look as if the authorities were on the wrong side of the bong.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The U.S. Attorney's Office has filed a motion to dismiss a criminal complaint against 27 people believed to be involved in a multi-county marijuana growth and sale operation, saying it needs more time to sort through paperwork.

Last week, authorities announced that 25 of the 27 people had been arrested  following the execution of 28 search warrants in several counties by more than a dozen law enforcement agencies. About 500 pounds of marijuana and assets determined to be drug proceeds were seized in the raids.
But Monday, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan filed a motion to dismiss the criminal complaint against the 27 people.

The motion says that more than 50 police reports about the searches and seizures hadn't yet been prepared and that the U.S. Attorney's Office was still waiting on statements from the witnesses and people who had been arrested.

Additionally, it has to sort through "controlled substances and several hundreds of other items of evidentiary value" seized in the raids.

And there are more than 1,000 "communications" -- like text messages and phone calls -- that were collected during the months-long investigation that must still be transcribed.

The government says it can't do all of that in time to file an indictment against the 27 people and prepare the case for a grand jury review within the next 30 days.

As a result, it has requested that the complaint be dismissed rather than keep the 27 people named in it under the constraint of the court.


All 25 members of the "Medical Marijuana Team" were released from jail last week without having to post bond.

It is likely that the U.S. Attorney's Office would return to the case once the paperwork is taken care of.
In the 60-page criminal complaint, authorities alleged that the operation used a doctor to provide medical marijuana certifications, which they used to justify the sales of hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of marijuana. But the group didn't sell just to patients. Federal investigators say they provided the drugs sold on the street across West Michigan.


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