Judge allows later curfew for defendant in drug-bust case

On April 21, Judge Douglas Shepherd, of the 41-A District Court, granted the third adjournment of the pretrial examination of a Shelby Township man charged with delivery/manufacture of marijuana and maintaining a drug house, and also allowed him to have a later curfew.

At the request of Colin Daniels, counsel standing in for defense attorney Neil Rockind, Shepherd modified the tether of Najah Zetouna, 51, to allow Zetouna to be out of his house from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., two hours later than his prior conditions of 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

On March 23, Rockind requested and was granted a change in tether conditions to allow Zetouna to be out from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., instead of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Rockind’s reasoning was for Zetouna to spend more time with his wife and children.

On April 21, Daniels requested the two-hour shift so that Zetouna could work.

“Right now, he is looking to get a job at a party store, and those times he needs to work would be 10-midnight or 10-2 on the weekends,” Daniels said. “I don’t believe he’s a flight risk. He’s been to our firm. He’s been to court every time. There’s no reason to believe he’s a flight risk at all.”

Shepherd said the tether allowance had to fall within a 12-hour period, so Daniels requested a period of 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Stephanie Stager, an assistant prosecutor in the district court division, objected on the people’s behalf to changing the tether times.

“The purpose (of the original tether change) was so that Mr. Zetouna would be able to see his children and be an active part of their lives, not be able to work. We believe that 8 a.m.-8 p.m. would also suffice to allow him to work at a party store,” Stager said. “We would also note that much of his narcotics trafficking happened at night.”

She warned against Zetouna working in a party store until midnight or 2 a.m.

Shepherd allowed the change in tether times, citing his intent to accommodate the defendant, as well as protect the community.

“It goes without saying, but no criminal activity, no selling of drugs, no issues. We’ll modify it by a two-hour period, but otherwise, you better be staying out of trouble. And if not, we’re going to be revoking bond and sending you to the Macomb County Jail,” Shepherd told Zetouna.

In February, police arrested Zetouna after a monthlong investigation and drug seizure worth an estimated $125,000. Police said the seizure involved approximately 32 pounds of high-grade marijuana packaged for sale, as well as synthetic marijuana.

Daniels declined to comment on the case.

William Dailey, chief of the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office drug unit, could not be reached for comment by press time.

via C&G Newspapers

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