27 arrested in five county marijuana bust | News
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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