I am a husband, I am a father of six well-raised, excellent children and I am a business man — Samer Hamed
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A former marijuana dispensary owner arrested on drug and gun allegations – charges that cost him to lose a plea deal for a delayed sentencing while courts clarify Michigan’s medical marijuana law – plans to fight the latest offenses, his lawyer said Wednesday.
Samer Hamed, the 43-year-old former owner of Purple Med marijuana dispensary at 1365 Plainfield Ave. NE in Grand Rapids, rejected a plea deal that would have resolved allegations of marijuana and felon in possession of firearms from a May 7 arrest. Authorities said he had 20 ounces of marijuana, a rifle and a shotgun.
Prosecutors offered him a chance to plead guilty in exchange for taking five years off his potential 10-year maximum sentence if he’s found guilty.
The May arrest led to Kent County Circuit Judge Donald Johnston revoking the delayed sentence from Hamed’s 2013 arrest connected to his dispensary. Hamed had pleaded guilty to manufacturing and delivery of marijuana under the condition that he not be sentenced as higher courts heard cases contesting the state marijuana act. Johnston ordered him to serve five months in jail.
Related: Former medical marijuana dispensary owner pleads guilty to drug charge, hopes for change in law
Hamed’s attorney, Frank Stanley, was in court Wednesday and told the judge that his client maintains his innocence saying he clearly rejects the gun charge. Stanley believes the legislature or the courts could change their minds regarding the marijuana laws and could impact his client’s case.
Hamed’s now charged with marijuana distribution, this time as a repeat offender meaning the maximum penalty goes from four to six years. He is also charged with being a felon in possession of firearms, also as a repeat offender and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
In an e-mail to The Grand Rapids Press/MLive.com, Hamed said he contests the most recent allegations. He wrote that the guns included a .22 small game hunting rifle belonging to his 15-year-old and a 12-gauge double barrel shotgun from the 1800’s. He described the second firearm as a historical piece.
“Your article paints me as thug with illegal arms,” Hamed wrote. “I am a husband, I am a father of six well-raised, excellent children and I am a business man.”
Hamed also disputes the police report’s statement about the amount of marijuana he allegedly had at his home.
Hamed remains in the Kent County Jail on a work-release sentence allowing him to maintain his employment while returning to jail when not at work.
The matter will now be set for trial.
E-mail Barton Deiters: [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/GRPBarton or Facebook at facebook.com/bartondeiters.5
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