Medical Marijuana Grow Operation Targeted; Woman Detained Speaks to FOX 17

Posted at 6:43 PM, Mar 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-08 16:51:50-05

KENT COUNTY, Mich. (March 6, 2014) — A raid on a Grand Rapids Township home shut down part of the neighborhood Wednesday morning.

For 3 and a half hours, there was a strong presence by law enforcement on Dean Lake Avenue near 3 Mile Road.

That presence was a concerning sight for neighbors and anyone passing by, as many people reached out to FOX 17 and wondered what was going on. Police said a “strong tip” led them to execute a search warrant at a home on the 3000 block of Dean Lake.

That house contains a marijuana grow operation.

A person believed to be inside the home at the time has outstanding warrants. Today, FOX 17 visited the home to check in with the homeowner to find out what went down.

She agreed to talk to us on the condition we conceal her identity.

“They came at my door at seven in the morning yesterday, pounding on the door, screaming ‘search warrant, search warrant,’” the homeowner said.

She said she’s a caregiver for three medical marijuana patients, and she’s a patient herself. She said she suffers from several illnesses. The woman showed FOX 17 her cards and all the dates are current.

Wednesday morning, investigators said they detained her and placed her in the back of a cruiser as a suspect. Meantime, they sent a robot into her home to search for a second person.

“They were screaming at me about this guy that was here, who was not here, and kept telling me, screaming at me, telling me I was lying,” she said.

However, that part of her story doesn’t fit with what the Kent County undersheriff had to say.

“One of our suspects came out willingly. The other one went and hid in the house somewhere. We don’t know where,” Undersheriff Jon Hess said.

Hess said the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET) was behind the raid.

“We believe it was a medical marijuana grower that had exceeded the number of plants that was allowable by law,” Hess explained.

By state law, she can have up to 12 plants per patient. There are four patients, including herself. So she can have up to 48 plants.

“I never carry the full 48. I think I probably have 40 or under. I’m always within count,” she said.

However, it’s apparent that law enforcement believes otherwise. The homeowner is upset that so many agencies showed up to her home and wondered why that level of force was used on a marijuana grow operation.

Hess said the Michigan State Police robot had trouble navigating the home and couldn’t find the man inside. An officer hadn’t gone inside.

“So we had to make a decision whether it was safe enough for the officers and for everyone, and really worth going inside now. We determined it was not a safe situation and left without going in and actually seeing what kind of operation was going on,” Hess said.

The woman would not show us her plants. She said she is following the law. She has no criminal background.

She acknowledges that she does know the guy that detectives are looking for, but she would not say who he is. The sheriff’s department continues to investigate.

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