Michigan State Police Illegally Search; Use Falsified License to Entrap Legal Medical Marijuana Facility

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Derek Antol, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Date of Interaction: July 09, 2014
Officers Involved: Det. Sgt. Karl Schmitz, Trooper Vogt, Det. Phillip Marshall, Det. Casey Bringedahl, Det. Kate Straus
Department Involved: Michigan State Police
Department Phone Number(s): West Michigan Enforcement Team (WEMET) 231-759-9600 Det. Kate Straus 616-430-5606

On Wednesday, July 9th 2014, my store and both my homes were raided by state police (WEMET). I received a call from my fiance mid-afternoon informing me that there was somebody from the Department of Treasury, Tobacco Enforcement Division, at the store inspecting our merchandise. He wanted to speak to the owner so I told her to put him on the phone. He stated that there were items in question at the store and that he was going to search the rest of the building. I told him he needed to leave and come back with a warrant. He told me that he was not going to leave.

Immediately, I dropped what I was doing and headed for the store. Upon my arrival, I found four people in my store that I did not recognize. Right away, I pulled out my phone and started videotaping everything. He asked about tobacco products in the store and I notified him that our products are not for use with, nor intended for use with tobacco. Then I showed him the sign on the wall which states this as well. I then asked him to leave, which he did not. I asked the identity of two officers who were accompanying him, who then identified themselves as Sgt. Schmitz, and Trooper Vogt. After my refusal to show them identification, I asked them for theirs and they refused. I insisted that if they are proclaiming to be officers of the law, that they needed to prove as much. They finally did.

Again, I asked these four persons to leave the store and get a warrant. They refused and proceeded to the rear of the building which is a completely separate business entity with its own tax identification number as well as a separate electrical meter. The people from the department of tobacco enforcement had no business going back there as it is not open to the public. They proceeded anyway. Upon searching the rear of the building, accompanied by the two state police officers, they observed marijuana that we were legally allowed to be in possession of. Again, the officers were told to leave and follow due process of law and obtain a warrant. Once again, they refused to leave. Det./Sgt. Schmitz then contacted Det. Phillip Marshall of WEMET and notified him of the marijuana found in the rear of the building.

Three years ago, WEMET raided our place of business and our home after illegally searching our vehicle without a warrant and against our will, and found us to be in possession of less than 12 ounces of marijuana. Under the state’s medical marijuana law, we are allowed to be in possession of 17.5 ounces. WEMET seized the marijuana along with all the cash we had and then proceeded to violate our rights after we had both invoked our Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. We were then taken into custody and further questioned against our will. To shorten that story, no charges were filed against us and our belongings, including the less than 12 ounces of marijuana, were returned to us after protesting outside the Muskegon County Hall of Justice where nearly 100 supporters stood with us. We filed a lawsuit against WEMET, Muskegon Police, and Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office. The attorney we retained to handle this case screwed us around for two years and we ended up having to retain a local attorney to go after him for our retainer back. We in turn retained an attorney based in Lansing who handles these kinds of lawsuits against government entities. Unfortunately, the case exceeded the three year statute of limitations as is no longer active…which brings us back to this story.

After getting information of the marijuana found, Det. Phillip Marshall of WEMET contacted Det. Kate Straus of WEMET and notified her as to what the situation was, and a team was formed at my store. When they arrived, I asked them to see a warrant, which they did not provide because they didn’t have one. They were asked several times to leave the premises and come back with a warrant, but they continued refusing to do so. Finally, our Muskegon based attorney arrived on the scene and we were escorted out of the building while they attempted to obtain a warrant. We were being detained at this time, but were not under arrest. Note that I had my two older sons with me at this time and my youngest son was at home sleeping while my buddy was there doing some electrical work for me.

By this time, I had been at the store with my sons for nearly an hour when I had their biological mother come pick them up. At this time, we were made aware of the fact that another team had assembled at my home on Green Creek where my son was sleeping, and also at my home that is for sale on Farr Rd. Finally, around 5:15 pm, we were served with a search warrant for 885 East Apple, the location of my store. Upon reading the warrant, I found it very disturbing that the warrant was based on the fact that on June 4, 2013, one Det. Adam Dent entered the store showing a previously prepared FICTITIOUS application for a medical marijuana card under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program MCL 333.2642, and a FICTITIOUS cancelled check made out to the State of Michigan. The application and a copy of a cancelled check is needed by a patient before they actually receive their tangible Patient Registry Identification Card in the mail, to prove to law enforcement that they have actually registered their application with the state. The state only cashes the check if the application is approved, THUS, the copy of the cancelled check is the only way of knowing a patient has been approved before obtaining their actual card.

With that being said, Det. Adam Dent’s entrapment of using FICTITIOUS credentials gained him access to the rear of the building where he impersonated himself as a Crohn’s patient and purchased some medical marijuana. Note: The MMMA allows a caregiver to possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana for each patient whom he or she is connected to through the department’s (LARA) registration process. It also allows a caregiver to possess up to 12 plants for each patient whom he or she is connected to through the department’s registration process. Furthermore, the act also states that a registered primary caregiver may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marijuana. Any such compensation shall not constitute the sale of controlled substances. It does NOT specify that such a patient need to be connected to them through the department’s registration process. Many patients who are new to the program are not convenienced by pharmacies that distribute the medicine; they are forced to obtain it through licensed caregivers who have what is referred to as “overage” until either (a) their own plants are harvested, which takes upwards of 5 months, or (b) someone who they have assigned as their caregiver through the state’s registration process, harvests their plants…which cannot be started until caregivership is approved by the state and take upwards of five months to grow.

As disturbing as it is that the state police waste taxpayer dollars by creating fake medical marijuana credentials, and then go after caregivers attempting to service the needs of the sick, what is even more disturbing is the fact that I later learned that while we were in custody at the 885 East Apple location, police entered my home and had my 12 year old son at gunpoint from a dead sleep, and began conducting a search BEFORE THE WARRANT WAS ISSUED! When my attorney asked Det. Kate Straus about my son’s statement of this happening, she admitted that officers entered the home before a warrant was issued. When asked about officers drawing weapons on my son and waking him up with flashlights and pistols in his face, she didn’t respond.

During the raid, officers seized cash, computers, cell phones (including those that were used earlier to record officers and their conduct in the store) and all marijuana and marijuana plants found. When I asked them why they were taking the marijuana and the marijuana plants, Det. Kate Straus stated that they were being seized because they were not in a properly secured facility. I asked her how this was when they had to kick down the door to enter the home and she replied, “because your realtor has a key for showing the house to prospective buyers and therefore has access to the marijuana.” I informed her that the area of the home where the marijuana is stored and cultivated is locked separately and nobody else has access to it, but it was too late. Officers had already came upon the area of the home where the marijuana was stored and cultivated and kicked in a second door now, into where the marijuana was stored. From there, they kicked a hole in the wall to gain access to where the marijuana was cultivated. After gaining entry to the cultivation area, they found the main door to the room and cut the master lock that was securing the facility. That’s how much of an improperly secured facility it was; so much so that they kicked a hole in the wall, and cut a lock. The plants had already been uprooted and the marijuana seized. Not only did they violate 333.26424(h) which states that any marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia, or illicit property that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the medical use of marijuana, as allowed under this act, or acts incidental to such use, shall not be seized or forfeited, but they also violated the due process of law by entering and searching the home on Green Creek before a warrant was issued, and used excessive force by holding my 12 year old son at gunpoint. Oh, and I forgot to mention that they also seized my cell phone and were going through it BEFORE the warrant was obtained.

Now, whether or not you are a supporter of marijuana use for medical purposes, the law is the law, and the law was passed by 63% of the voters in 2008. Surely it was not the intent of the voters to have their tax dollars expended in such a way where law enforcement would prepare fictitious credentials and use them to purchase medical marijuana from a licensed caregiver and then go after them for providing an alleged patient a service where the state does not provide it, in order to alleviate the symptoms of a debilitating condition as permitted in the definition of medical use in section 3 of the law. MCL 333.26423(f) “medical use” means the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, internal possession, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marijuana to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition. These officers MUST be held accountable for their actions and prevented from conducting themselves in such a way in the future.

They are pursuing criminal charges for two counts of delivery, which would not only incarcerate my fiance, but would get her medical marijuana patient card revoked, not to mention the five patients that she is a caregiver for, one of whom is a former Florida State Narcotics Agent who now resides in Michigan and uses marijuana to treat four different diagnosed kinds of cancer. This was all because they used fictitious paperwork that showed them to be approved by the state’s registration department. We have retained Nick Bostic in Lansing to file a lawsuit against them for their conduct, and to return any and all items seized in violation of MCL 333.26424(h).

It should again be noted that my cell phone was seized and searched before the warrant was obtained, and that the business was extensively searched after they were told to leave the premises, also before the warrant was obtained.

– Derek Antol

Video of the 2011 Protest in Front of the Muskegon County Hall of Justice:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Kelly W. Patterson

a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who's been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He's also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes. ____________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Kelly at these social networks; Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Spread Nevada CopBlock!

Like what we are doing? Share it with the world.

17 Responses to “Michigan State Police Illegally Search; Use Falsified License to Entrap Legal Medical Marijuana Facility”

  1. Wayne Darby July 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    I sure hope you can get at least some justice here. Very rarely does that happen, and especially when the ATF is involved. I would take my story to any media that will listen.

  2. deepelemblues July 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    i think this is the first story i’ve read here that didn’t seem fishy to me.

    you might be on shaky ground regarding growing/storing the marijuana in your home even with a separate lock, but otherwise seems like the drug warriors are coming after you because weed is bad mmkay no matter what the law says or how well you’re following it.

    • Deb Meadows July 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

      Medical Marijuana is a very good thing for those with Medical Needs….
      Darned stuff works….And can get you off pain meds….
      Helps to stop the growth of Tumors, allows Cancer cells to stop “Re-producing”
      Stops the progression of M.S.
      And many other ailments for the Chronically Ill, and Terminally Ill…..
      Big Pharma does not want this on the Market…..Cause this is causing them to lose Billions of dollars on their poison medicine…

  3. Common Sense July 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Please post the affidavit for the warrant. Once you get it of course.

  4. JC July 22, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    More copblock fiction. The author is growing marijuana and he wonders why he is being searched all the time. Michigan doesn’t allow marijuana unless prescribed by a physician. You lost your first case because you were dealing drugs. You are a drug dealer. You will end up in prison before long.

    • steve July 23, 2014 at 11:10 am #

      What a jerk

      • JC July 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

        Little steve, did you just crawl out from between your mommy’s wet spot? I suggest you go crawl back up there before it gets cold.

  5. t July 22, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    Derek:
    Guy….I don’t live in Michigan…..so I can’t and won’t pretend to know the marijuana laws there……but the earlier investigation sounds good (I do like how you blame it on your attorney though).
    Now…..let me see if I can walk you though this:
    Your “store” is open to the public. The officers….already knowing what you do, and how you,do it…..came in and saw suspicious activity / items. NOW…based on those observations, combined with the knowledge of your known activities and their training and experience would easily be enough to secure a search warrant (which they did). Now…..while waiting for the warrant….detaining you and everyone else and securing the businesses and your homes (isn’t it incredibly funny how you have more than one house…and the place you grow you dope ISNT the one you live in……we generally call that a “grow house”).
    So…everything you described is not only proper….but the right thing for the police to do. If you don’t agree…..that’s what court is for.

    • Common Sense July 23, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      The statute there isn’t that confusing.

      First “compassion clubs” were legal, and then they weren’t (AG decision). There are what’s called “technical” violations, like leaving a grow unlocked or visible from another property, lacking labels etc. The author has had several run-in with the police before. From what i can glean from one side, it sounds like the police came in to snoop, found a technical and discovered he had too many plants, thus an illegal grow.

      Honestly, most of the requirements seem pretty simple to follow but most don’t, get sloppy and get burned. Once there’s a single “technical” that makes the entire grow illegal. They’ll get their “caregiver” card pulled.

      I’d like to see the affidavit, it does sound a bit weak, but if they were there and found a technical, then he’s done. He can bitch about it but he’ll lose, barring some flaw in their affidavit.

      One must also understand, its still a federal violation and nothing protected (Derek) from federal prosecution.

      http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/lara_MMP_FAQ_6-28-13_426011_7.pdf

      • steve July 23, 2014 at 11:12 am #

        Thank you for your decent commentary.

    • Jerad Dorner July 23, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

      Lets see….How can I try to put this nicely….YOU ARE A FUCKING MORON NOW WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Common Sense July 24, 2014 at 11:58 am #

        Wow, that’s a lot of exclamation points…..

        …must be super serious.

      • t July 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

        Jerad: Wow. What an intelligent insight. I do note that you didn’t disagree with what I said. I’m glad for that. I glad to see that you are finally starting to get that what I’m telling you is right.

        :)

    • Deb Meadows July 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

      Dereck you don’t know what you are talking about……If you did you would not have wrote what you did……
      You need to stop watching television, and get real news……Your opinions are hurting a lot of people who are already sick and dying……

  6. Deb Meadows July 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    The Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws are a good thing.
    Many have been able to get off Big Pharma poison drugs…..And live a better life…
    But here comes the Police using the law to make people’s lives hell…..Again…!
    Medical Marijuana is a “Medicine”….It is not for recreational use….
    but when you sign that MM…Application….You wave your rights to own a firearm…Period….
    They also use mouth swabs to check if you have marijuana in your system…..Problem with that is ….Marijuana stays in your system for months…..No one knows when you used it…..
    The whole thing is a “Set Up” the people who use Medical Marijuana…
    Cause you basically wave your rights to “Drive”…Own a “Firearm”….Or to hold a job….See what they did……makes me sick…….

  7. Randy Carroll July 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Here is an update to this story –

    It seems Mr. Antol filed a Civil Rights lawsuit against the 8 individuals involved.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2014/07/jailed_muskegon_medical-mariju.html#incart_river

  8. Ladys Tata January 12, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

    Excellent post about Medical marijuana. Thanks CopBlock for this post share with us.
    Medical marijuana Denver

Leave a Reply