A 36-year-old Eastpointe man avoided jail time for his role in a scheme with a doctor to provide fake certificates for people to use medical marijuana.
Brian Deloose on Tuesday received the identical sentence — 18 months probation — of his co-defendant, Dr. Louis Butler-Jackson, by Judge Diane Druzinski in Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens. Deloose previously admitted to selling hundreds of medical marijuana patient certificates illicitly approved by Butler-Jackson for $250 each at his Warren appliance store.
Butler-Jackson, 52, who received $100 for each certificate, in January was convicted of health care fraud and committing a legal or illegal act in an illegal manner following a trial in front of Druzinski.
Druzinski sentenced Deloose at the bottom of the sentencing guideline range of zero to 17 months behind bars. Probation officials recommended probation.
“It’s the appropriate sentence,” said Deloose’s defense attorney, Neil Rockind. “The doctor was the primary figure in this case because she was the only one with legal authority to sign the documents, and she received probation.
“Brian took responsibility for what he did and received a legal, reasonable sentence.”
The state Medical Marijuana Act, passed by voters in 2008, required that a doctor OKing a certificate establish a legitimate doctor-patient relationship. In April, new requirement took affect regarding that relationship. The doctor must complete face-to-face medical evaluations of patients, review their relevant medical records and assess their medical condition and history. The changes also require post-approval meetings with patients to determine its efficacy.
Deloose’s driver license was suspended for six months, and he cannot have contact with Butler-Jackson during probation.
He previously pleaded guilty to five counts — one count of placing false or misleading information in a medical chart, one count of conspiracy to commit a legal act in an illegal manner and three counts of illegal delivery of marijuana. The drug charges are punishable by up to four years in prison, and the other two offenses are punishable by up to five years in prison.
Butler-Jackson’s license to practice medicine was suspended for six months and one day by the state. She said she had not sought to renew the license at the time of her March sentencing.
The cases were prosecuted by the offices of state Attorney General Bill Schuette and Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith.
via Oakland Press