By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town
Federal agents raided at least three properties in Oakland County, Michigan on Tuesday morning, with the raids apparently targeting medical marijuana operations.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents searched Caregivers of America, a medical marijuana dispensary in Walled Lake, a home in Commerce Township and an office building in Novi, at about 7 a.m., reports Elisa Anderson and Mike Brookbank at the Detroit Free Press.
Sealed federal search warrants were executed at all three locations, according to DEA Group Supervisor Andrew Eiseman. Few other details were released.
Eiseman would not say why the warrants were issued, whether any arrests were made, or whether the raids were connected.
The raided home is owned by Romel and Ban Casab, according to the Oakland County Assessor's Office.
A neighbor across the street from the home said she first saw agents at the home just after 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Two cars were seized and taken away, according to Annette Winberg, 66.
About 10 agents were at the home Tuesday morning, with four or five cars, with a Free Press reporter arrived.
The medical marijuana dispensary at Walled Lake, located at 1020 Decker Road, is owned by a company called 1020 Decker LLC, according to assessor records. The tax assessor's office said it sends the company's tax bills to a suite at 45700 West 12 Mile Road in Novi. The DEA confirmed agents were also at the location on 12 Mile on Tuesday morning, executing a search warrant.
Bystanders at the Walled Lake location watched the raid, reports Karen Workman at the Oakland County Daily Tribune.
"We just saw somebody banging on the building trying to get it," said Tom West of Fastdecks, a concrete company across the street from the Walled Lake dispensary. West said people dressed in black wearing SWAT-type vests were at the building at 7:25 a.m.
"When I came in, [law enforcement officials] were standing shoulder-to-shoulder across the entire front of the building," said Joe, an employee of a nearby business who asked that his last name not be used. Joe said the officials were wearing bullet-proof vests.
The Oakland County Sheriff's office, led by notorious marijuana foe Michael Bouchard, who infamously said last year "This is Michigan, not some Cheech and Chong movie" in defending his harassment of medical marijuana providers, assisted the DEA in the raids.
Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved the legalization of marijuana for medicinal uses in 2008, but some dispensaries and growing operations have been raided. Law enforcement officials, reluctant to accept marijuana's new legal status, claim the law is poorly written. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing some Michigan cities over their anti-marijuana policies.
Article From Toke of the Town and used with special permission.