May 26 05:22 AM

Dryden dispensary raided again

Second raid leads to 'growing room'

September 08, 2010
LAPEER COUNTY — While no arrests have been made, Sheriff Ron Kalanquin believes information gathered during a pair of raids at a downtown medical marijuana dispensary is suspicious.

On Wednesday, Sept. 8, after obtaining a search warrant from the county magistrate's office, Sheriffs deputies conducted the second of two raids at the Compassionate Care Center downtown Dryden medical marijuana dispensary. The first raid took place on Aug. 31.

In the process, deputies confiscated an unspecified amount of marijuana, various records and the contents of a safe. Also found, said Kalanquin, were receipts labeled "growing room," which led deputies to a Metamora address, which once housed a factory.

Obtaining a second search warrant, Kalanquin said deputies entered and searched the building at 4155 S. Oak Street, where they discovered 335 marijuana plants growing in a pair of "growing rooms."

Kalanquin said the owner of the building said he had been leasing the building out to Randy Crowel, co-owner of the Compassionate Care Center at 5493 Main Street.

"We're still fact-finding," said Kalanquin on Friday. "This is not necessarily a crime, but this is suspicious activity."

Following the Aug. 31 raid, both Crowel and his attorney, Jim Rasor of Royal Oak, contended that no illegal activity had taken place at the dispensary.

Instead, Crowel and Rasor suggested it was the Sheriff's department that had overstepped its legal bounds, while at the same time keeping prescribed legal marijuana out of the hands of patients who needed it for pain or other approved medical conditions.

"We're not interested in harassing cancer patients," Kalanquin insisted. "This is an evolving investigation and it involves more than Randy Crowel."

Kalanquin couldn't say if the evidence gained thus far would ultimately lead to arrests or prosecution.

"It's up to the prosecutors to issue warrants," he said. "We're the fact finders." For more on this story and all your local news pick up the Sept. 15 print edition of the Tri-City Times.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
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