Monthly Archives: December 2012

5 relatives accused of distributing K2 arraigned on criminal charges

Five relatives accused of distributing K2 at two Shelby Township businesses were arraigned today on criminal charges, police said.

Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers said members of the Dabish family sold the substance at their Citgo gas station and Woodstock Smoke Shop, on Van Dyke between 21 Mile and 22 Mile roads, after a law banning it passed earlier this year.

Woelkers said investigators searched five locations, including the businesses, two residences and a storage shed, about a month ago. He said they discovered thousands of dollars worth of K2, as well as smaller quantities of cocaine and marijuana.

Police said Audrick David Dabish, 18, of Sterling Heights; Dabish Jeffery-Adel Dabish, 35, of West Bloomfield; and David Adel Dabish, 39, of Sterling Heights were arraigned in 41A District Court on three controlled substance offenses. Audrick Dabish was also charged with resisting/assaulting a police officer.

In the same court, Dedrick David Dabish, 17, of Sterling Heights was arraigned on one controlled substance charge and Faize Adel Dabish, 63, of West Bloomfield was arraigned on two controlled substance charges.

Woelkers said Faize Dabish is the mother of at least one of the other defendants and grandmother to two of them.

He said a sixth person connected to the case is in custody in another jurisdiction.

Woelkers said the investigation was a months-long effort that involved Shelby Township police, Michigan State Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

via Freep

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I-96 corridor shooting suspect arraigned in Howell

A man accused of randomly shooting at people driving along the I-96 corridor in suburban Detroit and beyond in October was arraigned this afternoon on assault and terrorism charges.

Raulie Casteel, 43, of Wixom appeared from jail via video in Livingston County’s 53rd District Court in Howell.

Wearing orange jail garb with a white undershirt, Casteel spoke in a clear voice when Judge John Pikkarainen asked whether he was Raulie Casteel.

“Yes, your honor, I am,” Casteel responded.

His attorney, Doug Mullkoff, waived a formal reading of the charges that include terrorism, assault with intent to murder and five weapons-related charges during the arraignment that lasted just three minutes.

The terrorism charge, which carries a penalty of up to life in prison if convicted, is based on 21 attacks, said Joy Yearout, spokeswoman for state Attorney General’s Office.

Casteel pleaded not guilty to all the charges and waived his right to have a preliminary examination to be held within 14 days. His bond remains at $2 million.

Casteel’s wife sat in the front row of the courtroom today, behind the prosecutor’s table and quietly walked out of the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

“His wife is not planning to make any comment,” Mullkoff told reporters. Mullkoff also declined to comment about the case after the hearing.

Casteel is accused of shooting at 24 people, mostly motorists, on Oct. 16-18 and Oct. 27 in Oakland, Livingston, Shiawassee and Ingham counties.

One person was struck and injured driving on I-96 near Fowlerville during the shootings. Police have said Casteel fired a gun at oncoming cars while he was driving.

Ingham County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Joel Maatman investigated the shootings and called the terrorism charge rare.

“But, I think it’s very applicable to what all occurred,” he said.

He said the shootings put people on edge and caused drivers to change their normal routes.

“No matter how this turns out, I would like to know why,” Maatman said after court.

Casteel’s mother previously told the Free Press that she believed her son was mentally ill.

Court records show Casteel lost his job in 2010 and was living with his in-laws in Wixom after moving back to Michigan from Kentucky with his young daughter and wife, who supported him financially.

The Attorney General’s Office is handling the prosecution of the cases in Ingham, Livingston and Shiawassee counties. The county-level charges previously filed in Livingston against Casteel were dismissed and replaced with charges filed by the attorney general, officials said.

Casteel also faces 60 counts in Oakland County, including assault with intent to murder.

via Freep

Detroit’s homicide rate nears highest in 2 decades

With only a few days left in 2012, Detroit is poised to see its highest murder rate in nearly two decades.

As of Dec. 16, there had been 375 homicides — more than the number counted each year since 2008, according to Detroit Police Department statistics.

This spike in homicides comes at a time when the city is grappling with a financial crisis, facing a possible emergency financial manager and struggling with a budget that has included pay cuts to police officers, who also have been hampered by working longer shifts.

Daron Brashears, who longed to be an orthodontist and had earned his dental assistant certificate, was one of this year’s homicide victims. His mother, Misty Brown, said the 23-year-old was fatally shot at a house party in August.

Like many mothers in Detroit this year, Brown endured her first painful Christmas without her son.

“It’s so frustrating,” Brown said. “When I think about it, it makes me angry; you know that this guy that took his life just took everything from him and from us.”

With the current known number of homicides, which is sure to grow by year’s end, Detroit’s homicide rate is roughly 53 homicides per 100,000 residents. The city’s rate hasn’t been this high since 1994, when it was roughly 54 homicides per 100,000 residents. In 2006, the rate hit 52 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, New York City, with more than 8 million residents, recently reported a historic low of 414 homicides so far this year, putting the city’s rate at 5 homicides per 100,000 residents.

Yet as Detroit’s homicide rate climbs to its highest in years, Detroit police officials declined to comment for this report, despite several attempts over the course of three weeks to interview top brass about the year’s homicides.

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Neil Rockind will be on FOX 2 News Tonight (12/20/12) at 10pm Debating Gun Control!

Neil Rockind will be on FOX 2 News Tonight (12/20/12) at 10pm Debating Gun Control!

Don’t miss it!!

DISMISSAL in a Felony Medical Marijuana Case

Several months ago, we were contacted by a cancer survivor with complications from his bout with cancer and other physical ailments, including a broken back from a separate incident, who was under investigation for Manufacture of Marijuana.  A Michigan State Police plane flew over his yard and observed 4 plants on his porch.  The plants were in a single pot and had been placed in his backyard to get some sun before leaving for work. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to put them back inside before leaving.  The State Police obtained a warrant and gathered the plants.  A criminal prosecution ensued and he hired Neil Rockind and Neil Rockind, P.C.

We dug in ordering records, medical records and other materials to defend the client.  When our client first appeared in court, the prosecutor attempted to push our client into waiving his right to a preliminary examination.  When we next appeared, our client and Attorney Colin Daniels were pressured to waive the preliminary examination and plead to a felony count or risk being charged with additional crimes. We declined and demanded a preliminary examination.

Today, on the verge of the hearing, the case was dismissed.  Prior to, the prosecutor and Neil Rockind had an extensive conversation about the case and our client’s condition.   Rockind sent the prosecutor a copy of the client’s valid medical marijuana card.  A few minutes later, as Neil Rockind was gearing up for the hearing, we received word:  CASE DISMISSED.

Neil Rockind and Colin Daniels are criminal defense lawyers in Southfield, Michigan with the firm, Neil Rockind, P.C.  The firm is available to discuss your medical marijuana or other criminal case needs at your convenience.  Call 248.208.3800 for more information.

Supreme Court Denies Collective Medical Marijuana Growing in Michigan – The Bylsma Opinion

– http://www.examiner.com/article/mi-supreme-court-remands-medical-marijuana-case-to-kent-county-circuit-court

Michigan’s Supreme Court issued an opinion regarding Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) on December 19 finding that the “Court of Appeals erred when it concluded that defendant (Ryan Bylsma) was not entitled to assert the [Section] 8 affirmative defense solely because he did not satisfy the possession limits of [Section] 4. Rather, in People v Kolanek, we held that a defendant need not establish the elements of § 4 immunity in order to establish the elements of the § 8 defense. Accordingly, we reverse the Court of Appeals’ judgment to the extent that it conflicts with Kolanek. However, it would be premature for this Court to determine whether defendant has in fact satisfied the elements of the § 8 defense because he has not formally asserted the § 8 defense in a motion to dismiss. Instead, he has simply reserved the right to raise a § 8 defense at a later time. Accordingly, we remand this case to the Kent Circuit Court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion and withKolanek.”

Ryan Bylsma was charged with one felony count of manufacturing marijuana and he filed a motion to dismiss based on the Section 4 of MMMA, which was denied by the Kent County’s circuit court on February 7, 2011. The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the circuit court’s decision in in a published opinion issued September 27, 2011. (The Court of Appeals’ September 7, 2011 oral arguments in the Bylsma case can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/28921863 )

The Supreme Court heard oral argument on Mr. Bylsma’s appeal on October 11, 2012, after they had requested the parties to brief the following issues: “(1) whether the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), MCL 333.26421 et seq., permits qualifying patients and registered primary caregivers to possess and cultivate marijuana in a collective or cooperative and (2) whether, under the circumstances of this case, the defendant was entitled to immunity from prosecution for manufacturing marijuana under § 4 of the MMMA, MCL 333.26424, or entitled to dismissal of the manufacturing charge under the affirmative defense in § 8 of the act, MCL 333.26428.”