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Judge orders charges dropped in Oakland County marijuana bust

Posted: 6:00 PM, Feb 14, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-14 18:22:18-05

Donnie Barnes sat with his lawyers today, two-and-a-half years after he says his life was turned upside down.

It was November of 2014 when Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies took him down.

“I knew right there, somebody was violating my rights," he says. “I was sitting in my car and there was a gun to my head.”

The narcotics enforcement team was arresting Barnes and seizing his stuff - not to mention 100 pounds of pot.

They had identified Barnes as the listed agent of a medical marijuana dispensary in Waterford. The department claimed they had probable cause that the pot was being sold to folks not registered as patients.

Barnes hired attorneys to argue illegal search and seizure and won.

Just yesterday, circuit court judge Denise Morris ruled the charges be dropped, citing insufficient probable cause -  there was a clear overreach of the law.

In fact, Barnes wasn’t breaking the law, she said.

“It was a shakedown,” says his lawyer Nadeem Harfouch.

Barnes adds of his nearly three year fight to clear his name, “Everybody has to follow the law.”

The sheriff’s office could appeal the ruling. We are awaiting a response from them.