SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Mark Switalski sentenced Sterling Heights brothers Audrick Dabish, 19, and Dedrick Dabish, 18, to 18 months of probation April 30.
Audrick pleaded guilty to delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance, punishable by up to seven years in prison or $10,000 in fines; felony assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer, punishable by up to two years or $2,000; felony delivery/manufacture of marijuana, punishable by up to four years or $20,000; and felony possession of methamphetamine/ecstasy, punishable by up to 10 years or $15,000.
Dedrick pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance analogue, punishable by up to two years or $2,000. A controlled substance analogue is a substance with a chemical structure similar to the chemical structure of a controlled substance.
The brothers were arrested along with three other family members on Oct. 31, 2012, in a highly publicized raid executed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Shelby Township and Macomb County law enforcement.
Investigators alleged that members of the Dabish family sold synthetic narcotics at their gas station — which was “debranded” by Citgo following the arrests, and which now operates under the moniker “X-press” — and smoke shop, Woodstock Tobacco and More, before and after state legislation passed making K2, or Spice, illegal on July 1, 2012.
Switalski fined Audrick nearly $6,000 and Dedrick $500, plus court costs and fees. He allowed them to retain possession of their state medical marijuana cards.
He also granted them conditions outlined in the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), which clears convictions for individuals 17-20 years of age upon successful completion of their probation sentences.
Defense attorney Ron Marsh refrained from comment, and the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office could not be reached for a statement on the sentence.
The gas station, located at 46555 Van Dyke Ave., and smoke shop, located at 46699 Van Dyke Ave., are still conducting business.
Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said the Police Department’s narcotics division continues to work daily to make sure township businesses do not offer K2.
“I personally am going to say that these people are not going to go at it again because, if they do, they will pay the consequences,” Stathakis said.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said that Macomb County was the first in the state to ban synthetic marijuana after he worked with the Michigan Health Department to deem it a health and human risk factor.
“We caught some pushback on behalf of the state, as well as other counties because I think they thought we were being too aggressive or going beyond what our responsibility was, legally,” Hackel said. “We had it off the shelves in a one-week period, with the exception of a few characters out there, in particular the (Dabishes), who decided they wanted to push the envelope and to challenge law enforcement and the Health Department.”
Two months later, he said, the state followed suit and added K2 to a list of controlled substances.
Bill Miskokomon, a Shelby Township resident and activist, led a rally on June 2, 2012, that Supervisor Rick Stathakis attributed to the Board of Trustee’s ordinance to ban the sale of K2 and other synthetic drugs weeks before Gov. Rick Snyder’s July 1 bill.
Miskokomon said the effects of synthetic marijuana tore his family apart and permanently affected his son’s life.
“I think the judge went really soft on them,” Miskokomon said. “Incarceration is not going to fix the problem. I want to see drug dealers funding rehab programs or D.A.R.E. programs for families impacted by dealings with drugs.”
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