DEA Returns $62 Cash Seized In Marijuana Grow Room Raid


Photo: Jeff Schrier/The Saginaw News
Ed W. Boyke, 64, stands with some of the belongings that the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department seized when they raided his home on April 15. Boyke legally grows medical marijuana and police raided his home because they claimed to believe he was violating the law. He had to pay $5,000 to get his own stuff back.

​Medical marijuana patient and provider Edwyn W. Boyke hoped he was going to get his guns and grow equipment back when, two days after the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department returned his TV, he was asked to return to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s office in Saginaw, Michigan.

But when Boyke arrived at the DEA office on Friday afternoon, he said an agent told him the guns and other items, including grow equipment, “would be retained as possible evidence” in an ongoing federal investigation into whether Boyke violated drug laws by growing and possessing harvested marijuana and plants inside his home.
​The DEA agent handed Boyke $62 in cash that was taken from Boyke’s wallet during the raid and wished him a good day.
“They called me and said come pick up my stuff, said they had it, they were through with it,” Boyke said. “It sounded like he was going to give me everything,” he said, reports Gus Burns of The Saginaw News.
Boyke, a legal, registered patient who smokes marijuana to ease back pain caused by a pinched nerve, hoped to recover his four guns — three hunting rifles and an antique, inoperable Russian gun — which he said Saginaw deputies seized from his Saginaw Township home while a DEA-secured search warrant was being served on April 15.

Photo: Edwyn W. Boyke
This photo was taken by legal medical marijuana patient Edwyn W. Boyke Jr., 64, after police raided and destroyed his $7,000 grow room.

The Back Story
When Saginaw deputies and DEA agents raided Boyke’s house, they didn’t just thuggishly bust up his grow room — they confiscated a lot of his property, including a car, TV, two lawnmowers, scales, five jars of harvested marijuana, little seedlings, and larger plants.
Following what they claimed was standard operating procedure, the raiding officers destroyed whatever they thought — or claimed to think — was used to grow and process marijuana.
And they took Boyke’s property, under Michigan’s 25-year-old drug forfeiture law, just as if nobody in Michigan is allowed to grow and use marijuana. Never mind that’s no longer the case, and the Boyke is a legal patient, and that an overwhelming 63 percent of Michigan voters chose to legalize medical marijuana in 2008.
Boyke eventually got almost all the items back, but only after agreeing to pay $5,000 (yeah, to get his own stuff back), instead of appealing the confiscation in court.
Many community members were upset with the tactics of the officers in the raid. The sheriff’s department announced that detectives will no longer destroy marijuana growing equipment; they claim they will now confiscate, rather than smash up, the gear.