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Shelby Township

December 19, 2012

Five family members arraigned on drug charges in Shelby Township

By Brad D. Bates
C & G Staff Writer

Nine months of investigation by the Shelby Township Police Department culminated with five members of a family arraigned on drug charges Dec. 18 at 41-A District Court.

Five members of the Dabish family were arraigned on charges ranging from maintaining a drug house to delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance stemming from an investigation of two Shelby Township businesses suspected of selling synthetic narcotics commonly called K2.

“I want to thank our narcotic unit, who worked a nine-month-long investigation with a lot of undercover work,” Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers said. “It was our primary effort over the last few months because of the damage that K2 can do to our young children here in Shelby Township.

“I can’t tell you their names, because they are narcotics investigators, but a sergeant and four officers worked quite a long time on that, and I want to personally thank them for doing that.”

“The prosecutor went over this case extensively to make sure we had a good case,” Woelkers added at a Dec. 18 press conference. “(The defendants) were arraigned at 41-A in front of Judge (Douglas) Shepherd, and I believe most of them are released on bond at this time.”

Four of the five defendants face delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance charges, which cover cocaine and hydrocodone.

Also covered under that charge was a large amount of K2.

The sale and possession of synthetic narcotics became a felony June 19 as Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that added the substances to the state’s list of controlled substances.

“K2 has been difficult to prosecute because of some of the antiquated laws, but now, because of the politicians and the community support, we have some good laws to work with,” Woelkers said. “And I believe this is the first really strong case in Michigan that is going to go forward in the courts.”

The delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance charges are felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison or $10,000 in fines.

Three of the defendants, Dabish Dabish , 35, of West Bloomfield, David Dabish, 39, of Sterling Heights, and Faize Dabish, 63, of West Bloomfield, face charges of maintaining a drug house, which is punishable by two years or $25,000 in fines.

The maintaining a drug house charge is a high court misdemeanor under state law that stipulates citizens, “shall not knowingly keep or maintain a store, shop, warehouse, dwelling … that is frequented by persons using controlled substances in violation of this article for the purpose of using controlled substances, or that is used for keeping or selling controlled substances in violation of this article.”

A high court misdemeanor stems from a crime that is technically a misdemeanor but can be treated and punished more closely to a felony, given the context in which the suspect was cited.

“If the violation is prosecuted by a criminal indictment alleging that the violation was committed knowingly or intentionally, and the trier of the fact specifically finds that the violation was committed knowingly or intentionally,” the law reads, “the person is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or a fine of not more than $25,000, or both.”

Dabish Dabish and Fiaze Dabish, who share a residence in West Bloomfield, and David Dabish were among the four charged with delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance.

The fourth defendant charged with delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance was Audrick Dabish, 18, of Sterling Heights.

Audrick Dabish, who shares the residence with David Dabish, is also facing charges of felony assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer, punishable by up to two years or $2,000, felony delivery/manufacture 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.

The fifth defendant, Dedrick Dabish, and David Dabish face felony charges of 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.

“Anyone that is selling K2 products or any other synthetic drugs in Shelby Township, I want to say we will find you, we will prosecute you and we will put you behind bars,“ township Supervisor Richard Stathakis said. “We will do everything in our power to do that, and if you have any doubt about that, talk to the Dabish brothers.”

An initial report from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s office said that a sixth suspect was to be arraigned. Absent from Dec. 18 arraignments but present on the prosecutor’s report was Derick Dabish, 31, of West Bloomfield.

Woelkers did not name anyone specific at the press conference but said the missing suspect was being held by other law agencies in Oakland County.

“There is one more individual that I believe is in custody in another jurisdiction, and we have to go ahead and bring him to court,” Woelkers said.

The family owns and operates the Citgo gas station located at 46555 Van Dyke Ave. and the Woodstock Tobacco and More smoke shop at 46699 Van Dyke Ave., which were at the epicenter of Oct. 31 searches by Shelby Township police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Police also searched homes in Sterling Heights and West Bloomfield and a storage unit in Sterling Heights, where reportedly much of the drug stash was recovered.

While Woelkers said his department’s investigation preceded it, a June 2 protest outside of the Citgo and Woodstock Tobacco and More raised public awareness of the problems associated with synthetic narcotic abuse and the sale of those substances out of stores.

At the June 2 rally, Derick Dabish said his store had pulled the products from its shelves just prior to Citgo corporate banning the substances from their stores, and that he was looking forward to working with the community.

“In spite of some of these people going to different kinds of public events, they continued to sell that product even after they said they would not do that because of the damage it caused to kids,” Woelkers said.

The charges against the Dabish family led Citgo to initiate “debranding” actions against the Shelby Township business.

“We have had information from Citgo that, as soon as the arrest warrants were served, their intentions were to go over to that franchise and remove Citgo from that gas station,” Woelkers said. “So we’re very pleased that the business people in the community are cooperating,”

Woelkers said that beyond the arrest of the individuals associated with sale of the narcotics at Citgo and Woodstock Tobacco and More, his offices remain vigilant concerning synthetic drug sales and abuse within the township.

“I can say, other than this current location in which we now have five arrests, we don’t have any of that going on in our community,” Woelkers said. “And we’re going to be very diligent to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brad D. Bates at bbates@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1029.