|Photo: City Pulse|
Law enforcement claimed the Wednesday raid by Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies of the Oak Park offices and warehouse of a well-known medical marijuana dispensary was spurred by tips to police that the site was “supplying drug dealers.”
The Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team, wearing bullet-proof vests and masks, executed a search warrant and seized about $2,874 in cash, nine pounds of harvested marijuana stored in a freezer, five pounds of packaged marijuana, about two dozen cannabis plants, and 10 pounds of baked goods from facilities belonging to Big Daddy’s Management Group, Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said, reports Bill Laitner of the Detroit Free Press.
|Photo: Andre J. Jackson/Detroit Free Press/MCT|
|Owner Rick Ferris, right, assembles his Big Daddy signature hydro systems for indoor plant growth as his employee Dale Binienda looks on at the facility in Oak Park, Michigan, November 2009. The facility, which manufactures hydroponic growing systems used for cultivating marijuana, was raided Wednesday by the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team.|
More than $20,000 worth of cash and merchandise was taken in the 5 p.m. raid, according to Royal Oak attorney Jim Rasor, who represents Big Daddy’s. Under Michigan drug forfeiture laws, Sheriff Michael Bouchard gets about 80 percent of the money seized, and the rest goes to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, reports My State Line.
Oakland County law enforcement “found out about Big Daddy’s from two drug dealers in northeast Oakland County,” McCabe claimed on Thursday. “They told us they get all their marijuana from Big Daddy’s and resell it out of their houses.”
No arrests were made Wednesday, but McCabe said “we expect that arrests will be forthcoming” after a review of evidence by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.
|Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe: “We expect that arrests will be forthcoming”|
Big Daddy’s is owned by Rick Ferris, 46, of Berkley, who referred questions to his attorney and his business spokesman, both of whom said no laws were broken.
“We do everything according to the state law” allowing state-approved patients and caregivers to possess marijuana and to “transfer it but not sell it,” although those who provide cannabis can have their expenses reimbursed, Big Daddy’s spokesman Rick Thompson said.
Deputies also executed a search warrant at the Hazel Park home of Stefani Ferris, office manager of Big Daddy’s Management Group and daughter of the owner, according to Thompson.
“It’s where she and her husband and their seven children live,” Thompson said.
The raid by about 10 deputies was at the Big Daddy’s Hydro warehouse, where indoor cultivation equipment is stored and fabricated for sale at shops in Chesterfield Township and Hazel Park — and at the nearby offices of Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine and the adjoining Big Daddy’s Compassion Center, which McCabe claimed was an illegal dispensary that sells marijuana in violation of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
“Dispensaries are not allowed” under the state law, McCabe claimed, adding “we have multiple prosecutors throughout the state that agree with that.”