Father & son arraigned on pot charges, discovered during search related to April Millsap murder

(WXYZ) - A judge has set bond at $75,000 cash/surety and ordered GPS tethers for two men arrested for drugs while police executed a search warrant on their home related to the April Millsap murder case.

Right before the judge set bond for 66-year-old James VanCallis Sr.

The man told the judge, "I love my dogs. I just wanna go home to my dogs. I didn't do nothing."

7 Action News cameras were the only media in the courtroom Friday. Court started around 11:00 a.m. Friday with the younger VanCallis being arraigned first.

32-year-old James VanCallis Jr. does not have an attorney yet so the judge entered a plea of Not Guilty for him.

VanCallis Jr. faces two drug charges. Count 1 is for the delivery and manufacturing of marijuana. Count 2 is for maintaining a drug house.

Police found 52 marijuana plants in the VanCallis home during a raid. VanCallis Jr. is only allowed to have 36 plants per his medical marijuana license.

This is VanCallis Jr.'s third offense. He was convicted October 27, 2005 for a Breaking and Entering charge out of Oakland County and for failing to pay child support in Macomb County.

When the judge asked VanCallis Jr. why he should let him out on bond, the 32-year-old started to cry and said he needed to get back home to his young kids that are 3 ½ years old and 7-months-old. 

He said he was not a flight risk.

St. Clair County Assistant Prosecutor Amy Stover asked for $100,000 cash/surety bond and said VanCallis Jr. is a flight risk because he's a habitual offender and did not show up in the past for court. 

She also sighted the fact that the marijuana was found during a search related to the April Millsap murder investigation. 

VanCallis Jr. argued he was young and a "punk kid" back then when he committed those crimes and didn't know any better.

The judge set a $75,000 cash/surety bond and GPS tether for him.

Court broke for recess for about a half hour and then 66-year-old James VanCallis Sr. was arraigned. 

He also faces two similar drug charges. Count 1 is for manufacturing marijuana and Count 2 is for maintaining a drug house. The prosecution also stated that the outside marijuana grow operation did not meet the correct parameters for an outdoor enclosure.

This is VanCallis Sr.'s fourth offense. He was convicted in February 6, 1978 for a felony in Macomb County concerning checks. Then in September 18, 1995 in Macomb County he was convicted of CSC 2nd and 4th degree for a child under the age of 13.

The judge entered a plea of Not Guilty for VanCallis Sr. because he does not have an attorney yet.

Assistant Prosecutor Stover also asked for a $100,000 dollar cash/surety bond and a GPS tether if he makes bond.  Stover stated that VanCallis Sr. is a flight risk because of his past and said he was a danger to society because even though the charges are old, he is a sex offender and that poses a danger to children. 

She also stated that the grow operation was found during a search warrant related to the Millsap murder investigation and for that to be taken into consideration as well.

When VanCallis Sr. had a chance to speak he told the judge, "I'm basically innocent."

VanCallis Sr. said he wasn't a flight risk because he goes to the St. Clair Sheriff's Department every 3 months to check in and has only been non-compliant once when he did not show up for 8 hours. 

VanCallis Sr. then admitted he had 52 marijuana plants in the home because they were dying in the basement and they were at their wits end with mildew on them.  He also said they were getting the enclosure ready with rope for outside.

The judge told VanCallis Sr. to stand mute and not incriminate himself and that he only wanted to know why the man wasn't a flight risk, but VanCallis Sr. wouldn't listen and kept talking. VanCallis Sr. told the court he's an old man that just plays PlayStation all day long and stays at home and doesn't go anywhere. 

He added he's on medication. Then VanCallis Sr. told the judge someone is taking care of his sick dogs at home and said, "I love my dogs, I wanna go home. I didn't do nothing."

The judge set a $75,000 bond cash/surety with a GPS tether.

The father and son will be back in the Port Huron District Court on August 12 at 1:30 p.m. for a preliminary hearing.

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