SHELBY TWP. (WWJ) – One person has been arrested as investigators say hundreds of marijuana plants were seized from three different locations in Macomb and Oakland counties.
Michigan State Police say the suspect was leasing industrial buildings, in Shelby Township, Commerce Township and Troy, for use as marijuana growing facilities with the end goal of supplying Detroit pot shops.
“I don’t like to use the word dispensaries just for the fact that there’s no such thing as a dispensary; they’re illegal in Michigan. But they were providing it to shops that were currently operating in Detroit, and then they were trying to do some money laundering and some different things at some casinos in Ohio,” said MSP First Lt. Mike Shaw.
“That’s a common practice,” Shaw said. “Casinos are often used by drug dealers to bring some of their money in, exchange it out, and kind of launder it through those practices.”
The County of Macomb Enforcement Team (COMET) investigated for six months before executing search warrants at several locations, including the suspect’s home. Authorities allegedly found over $11,000 in cash, nearly 500 marijuana plants, 100 pounds of processed marijuana, as well as 20,000 vape pens and oil cartridges.
Shaw said additional arrests are expected in connection with the case.
“This is quite an extravagant operation and so we know that there is other parties involved,” Shaw said. “And we’re just in the investigation and the interviewing process as far as finding out who else is involved.”
The primary suspect was arrested Wednesday. Reports say he is a Macomb County resident, although Shaw would not confirm that detail. His name is being withheld pending an arraignment on criminal charges.