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Eight of Nine Defendants Bound Over for Trial in Ferndale Medical Marijuana Case

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Eight of the nine people with ties to a medical marijuana clinic raided by police last August learned Friday afternoon they will stand trial on drug charges.

The defendants owned or worked at Clinical Relief on Hilton Road. They waited six months for 43rd District Judge Joseph Longo to decide whether there was probable cause they broke laws when they sold marijuana to undercover police.

"The lawyers on both sides were worthy advocates," Longo said. "They're a pleasure from an intellectual standpoint."

Charges were dropped against Stacey Ellenbrook, 41, of Chesterfield Township because the judge said she acted "only as a receptionist" at the facility. Ellenbrook was responsible for checking in people and direct them to the waiting room.

For the rest, the police had phony patient cards and one officer had testified his fake card was backed up by a real-looking driver's license made by the state with his alias.

The defendants from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties were charged with conspiracy and manufacturing and selling controlled substances following the raid by police on the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team ( NET ).

This could be one of several test cases of the 2008 state law passed by 63 percent of Michigan voters.

Now facing trial are Anthony Agro, 42, of Troy; Ryan Fleissner, 30, of Livonia; Barbara Agro, 69, of Lake Orion; Nicholas Agro, 38, of Lake Orion; Mathew Curtis, 39, of Lake Orion; Ryan Richmond, 33, of Royal Oak; Angelina Veseli, 24, of Roseville; and Barbara Johnson, 40, of Leonard.

Longo had announced a three-month timeline for defense attorneys and Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Beth Hand to submit written arguments when the preliminary examinations ended last November at the Kulick Community Center. The judge had to move his courtroom to a larger space because there were so many defendants are lawyers.

However, the written arguments, responses and deliberation took twice as long as expected. In the meantime, eight other defendants also charged after NET raids last summer were ordered to stand trial. Those defendants were affiliated with Everybody's Cafe and Herbal Remedies, both in Waterford.

NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Daily Tribune, The (Royal Oak, MI)
Copyright: 2011 The Daily Tribune
Contact: editor@dailytribune.com
Website: Daily Tribune
Details: MAP: Media Directory
Author: Catherine Kavanaugh
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