FLINT, MI – Two Flint marijuana growing facility operators have pleaded to drug-related charges after state attorneys say they were illegally in possession of over 850 marijuana plants.
Their attorneys, however, say the charges highlight the “grey area” in state’s medical marijuana laws.
After police raided the two medical grow facilities on North and South Saginaw streets in Flint in February 2016, State Attorney General Bill Schuette charged Gary Metzger, 66, and Troy Hall, 50, with nine counts each, including:
-Two counts of possession with intent to deliver 45 kilograms of marijuana
-Four counts of conspiracy
-Two counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana
The pair – both currently free on joint $90,000 personal recognizance bonds – originally faced up to 20 years in prison, each.
However, in a plea agreement on Sept. 6, 2017, state prosecutors agreed to dismiss nine of the drug-related charges if Metzger and Hall each pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of maintaining a drug house at sentencing before Genesee County Chief Judge Richard B. Yuille in November.
The misdemeanor charges carry a maximum penalty of up to two years in prison or a $25,000 fine.
In a 2016 search of the South Saginaw street location on a tip, police found Hall with a key to the building containing 383 plants and 25 pounds of processed marijuana, according to court records.
Hall, a medical marijuana caregiver, told authorities his patients had medical marijuana cards, but he was unable to produce them to authorities and was arrested.
After Hall told them he was in a business partnership with Metzger, a fellow caregiver, police proceeded to search the North Saginaw street location, finding 458 plants and 55 pounds of processed marijuana, according