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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, vs. LANCE JAMES FORSBERG, Defendant. __________________________/ Before THE HONORABLE HUGH BRENNEMAN, U.S. Magistrate Judge Grand Rapids, Michigan December 7, 2012 Plea Proceedings APPEARANCES: MR. PATRICK MILES, U.S. ATTORNEY By: MS. B. RENE SHEKMER 330 Ionia NW P. O. Box 208 Grand Rapids, MI 49501 616-456-2404 On behalf of the Plaintiff; MR. THOMAS J. GEZON Smietanka Buckleitner Steffes & Gezon 4250 Chicago Drive, SW Suite B Grandville, MI 49418 616-667-2217 On behalf of the Defendant. TRANSCRIBED BY: MS. KATHY J. ANDERSON, RPR, FCRR No: 1:12cr207

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December 7, 2012 PROCEEDINGS, 10:51 a.m. THE COURT: The next matter this morning is United

States versus Lance James Forsberg, file number 1:12cr207. And I understand we're here for the entry of a plea in this matter. You are Lance James Forsberg? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Mr. Forsberg, this is the United States

District Court for the Western District of Michigan which means that it is a federal court. You are here on a

multi-count indictment, and I understand we are concerned with three counts of this indictment: correct? MR. GEZON: THE COURT: That is correct, Your Honor. All right. Fine. Ms. Shekmer, has the Counts 1, 7 and 10. Is that

defendant previously been arraigned in this matter and if so when was that? MS. SHEKMER: Your Honor, he was arraigned on

August 20th, 2012, before Your Honor. THE COURT: Fine. Mr. Forsberg, do you have a copy

of that indictment in front of you? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Have you read Counts 1, 7 and 10? Yes, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT:

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THE COURT:

You understand each of those counts? Yes, sir. Mr. Gezon, do you want

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Thank you.

those charges read for the record at this time? MR. GEZON: No, Your Honor. We have read them, we

have had them for a long time now. them. THE COURT: All right.

We waive the reading of

Fine.

Thank you.

And the

plea will be to all three counts, is that right? MR. GEZON: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Thank you. Count 1 charging the

defendant with conspiring to manufacture 100 or more marijuana plants. And Count 10 which makes the same charge -- well,

pardon me, that's not correct. Count 1 charges the defendant with conspiring to manufacture 100 or more marijuana plants, and Count 10 which charges the actual manufacture of marijuana, which usually means growing the marijuana. Each carry a maximum penalty of

not less than five years in prison and not more than 40 years in prison. There would also be the possibility of a fine of There would also

up to five million dollars on each charge.

be a period of supervised release after any prison term of at least four years, but that could extend your entire life. there would also be a mandatory special assessment of a hundred dollars on each charge. And

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Count 7 which alleges the manufacture of a hundred or more marijuana plants within one thousand feet of a school carries a maximum penalty of not less than five years in prison, and not more than 80 years in prison. So someplace

between five and 80 years, and a fine of not more than ten million dollars. There would be a period of supervised

release after any prison term of at least eight years, and again that could last defendant's entire life. That also

carries a special assessment of a hundred dollars as well. Mr. Forsberg, do you understand the maximum penalties for each of these three counts? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: possible penalties. Yes, Your Honor.

What I told you were the maximum

The actual sentence of the Court may well And

be influenced by what we call the sentencing guidelines. the guidelines are designed to help a judge know what an

appropriate sentence would be in a particular case based on the facts of that case. And so the guidelines take into

consideration a number of factors; in a drug case, for example, the type of drugs, the amount of drugs, the role of the defendant in any particular drug activity, does the defendant have a criminal background, if so, what is it. There is just a wide variety of factors. And based on all of

that the guidelines come up with a recommended sentencing range for the judge to consider.

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Now, the range can never exceed the maximum sentence but someplace within the maximum possible sentence will be this recommended range. The judge can sentence you She

within that recommended range but she is not required to. can go above it or she can go below it.

But before she makes

up her mind she has to pay very careful attention to the recommendation and consider is very carefully and closely, and there is a procedure she follows to do that. guidelines are very important. binding on the district judge. I don't know what the guidelines would recommend in your case. That has to be calculated by the probation However, your He So the

Even though they are not

department when they do the presentence report.

attorney has dealt with these guidelines for many years.

is an expert on these guidelines, and can probably give you a pretty good idea of what the guidelines would recommend, even though he cannot guarantee you that his calculation would be the final calculation. But, again, based on his experience

I'm sure he can give you a pretty accurate estimate. Did you have a chance to talk to Mr. Gezon about these guidelines? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Was he able to give you some idea of

what the impact on you might be of that recommendation? THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

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THE COURT:

All right.

So if I refer to the

sentencing guidelines you understand what I'm talking about? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Now, this case is assigned to Judge Neff is a United States

Fine.

the Honorable Janet T. Neff.

District Judge which means she was appointed by a President of the United States and she has a lifetime position. You have

the right to have this hearing today for the purpose of entering your plea conducted by Judge Neff. And if she were

to conduct it, she would ask you questions to make sure that you knew what you were doing, that you were doing it voluntarily, and that there was a foundation or a basis for what you were doing. And then assuming everything went as anticipated, she would accept your plea and refer the matter to the probation office to prepare a presentence report. That normally takes three months or so. When that

report was done, you would return to court and Judge Neff would impose the sentence of the Court. Now, our local court rules provide that with your consent, I can handle the hearing today for the purpose of you entering your plea. I am a United States Magistrate Judge

which means I'm not a district judge but I am a federal judge. I'm appointed by the district judges to assist them. So if I

take Judge Neff's place I'm going to ask you the same kinds of

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questions that she would ask.

Again, questions to make sure

that you know what you're doing, that you are doing it voluntarily, and that there is a basis for what you are doing. And then I'll recommend to Judge Neff that she accept your plea and at the same time I will refer the matter to the probation office for a presentence report. longer one way than the other. Doesn't take any

When the report is done, you And at that

return to court but this time before Judge Neff.

time she would finalize the acceptance of your plea if she had not done so already, and she would impose the sentence of the Court and conclude the entire matter at that time. So either way, it's going to be up to Judge Neff to determine the sentence of the Court. responsibility. But for the purpose of you entering your plea this morning, I can handle that hearing but again only with your consent. Do you understand everything I have told you? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Mr. Gezon? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. It Yes, Your Honor. That's entirely her

Have you talked about this with

I have received a consent form.

appears to be signed by you agreeing to have me handle the matter this morning. Is that your signature?

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THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Yes, correct.

Did you understand everything on this

form before you signed it? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Anybody threaten you in any way or use

any force or duress or undue pressure to make you give up your right to have Judge Neff handle this hearing? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: No, Your Honor.

Voluntary decision on your part? Yes, sir. Both attorneys have signed this.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Fine.

Mr. Gezon, do you concur with me handling this matter? MR. GEZON: THE COURT: concur? MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT: I do. I do, Your Honor. Fine. Thank you. Ms. Shekmer, do you

Has Judge Neff's office indicated a

willingness that I handle this matter? MS. SHEKMER: Your Honor, due to the date of the

trial being in late January, it's Judge Neff's standing procedure that we go before the magistrate at this time. THE COURT: All right. Fine. I believe that

Mr. Forsberg's consent to proceed before me is voluntarily and knowingly given. I so find. The consent form may be filed.

We will proceed with the plea at this time.

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As I indicated, there are a number of questions I have to ask. If there is something you don't understand, or

you want to stop and talk to Mr. Gezon, that's not a problem. Just let me know. It's important that you understand what's So if you need to Okay?

happening throughout the entire procedure.

interrupt the proceedings, just let me know. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

All right.

The clerk is going to give

you an oath that you'll answer all questions truthfully. LANCE JAMES FORSBERG, DEFENDANT, WAS DULY SWORN THE COURT: Do you understand that having been

sworn your answers to my questions will be subject to the penalties of perjury or of making a false statement if you do not answer truthfully? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

How old are you, sir? I'm 32 years old, sir.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

How far did you go in school? College graduate.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

What school? Hope College.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

And, counsel, is your client currently

on parole or probation? MR. GEZON: THE COURT: No, Your Honor. Thank you. Sir, have you taken in the

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past 24 hours any kind of medication, any drugs, pills, controlled substances, narcotics, or had any alcohol, anything like that in the past 24 hours? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Daily take Celexa, Your Honor.

What's that for? It is an antidepressant,

THE DEFENDANT: antianxiety. THE COURT:

That's a prescription drug? Yes, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

And you're on a schedule? Yes, sir.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

When do you normally take that? In the mornings.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Did you take it this morning? Yes, Your Honor. Is there anything about

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

that medication that makes you drowsy, or distracted, or unable to focus on what's happening around you? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: benefit? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Are you under the care of a No, Your Honor.

In fact, I assume it works for your

All right.

physician or other medical care provider at this time or a psychiatrist or a psychologist for any reason other than what

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we have talked about? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: offense. No, Your Honor.

This is, this is a drug-related

Have you been hospitalized or treated recently for

any narcotics addiction? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: No, Your Honor.

Are you experiencing any medical

problems today that you are not being treated for? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: No, Your Honor.

Do you feel that you can both hear and

understand what's happening? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Fine. Either attorney have

All right.

any doubt as to the defendant's competence to enter a plea at this time? Mr. Gezon? MR. GEZON: THE COURT: I do not, Your Honor. Ms. Shekmer. No. Thank you, Your Honor.

MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT:

Mr. Forsberg, if you want to pull that

microphone a little closer to you so you don't have to lean into it each time. Whatever is comfortable for you.

Now, I certainly don't have any doubt as to the defendant's competence, as I just indicated. And that allows And this

us to move into the next stage of these proceedings.

is where I have an opportunity to talk to you about your

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rights to a trial in this case.

You have a number of rights:

One very important right is your right to have an attorney, and you have the right to have an attorney represent you at all times regardless of whether or not you can afford that attorney. Now, you have retained Mr. Gezon, but had you been

unable to retain him, the court would have appointed an attorney for you at no cost if that's what you wanted. Mr. Gezon will represent you throughout this entire matter; whether you go to trial, or whether you plead guilty today, you never lose your right to an attorney. understand that? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Do you

And if you did lose Mr. Gezon, the

court would always appoint an attorney to replace him if that was necessary. Do you understand that? Yes, sir. Now, you have a number of

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

other rights to a trial, and I'm going to talk to you about some of those. But these rights that I'm going to talk to you When

about are rights that you will lose if you plead guilty.

you were here before, a plea of not guilty was entered on your behalf. And you have every right to continue or maintain that You have absolutely no

plea right up through a trial.

obligation to plead guilty as far as this court is concerned. Do you understand that?

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THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Yes, sir.

And if you wanted to go to trial you

would have the right to a public and speedy trial, as well as a trial by jury with the assistance of Mr. Gezon, of course. And at that trial you have the right to confront and cross-examine any witnesses called by the government to prove its case against you. You have the right to call witnesses to You have the right to bring those

testify in your behalf.

people in by court order if they don't want to show up voluntarily. behalf. Your attorney can present other evidence on your

And you have the right to testify or not testify at

trial as you choose since you always have the right to remain silent. Furthermore, throughout the entire trial, you are presumed to be innocent and the burden is on the government to prove that you're guilty. And the government has to prove

your guilt beyond any reasonable doubt before you can be convicted. Do you understand that you have all of those rights to a trial? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Do you understand you will lose those

rights if you plead guilty? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Now, understanding that,

All right.

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and the charge, three charges against you, and the maximum penalties for each of those charges which I believe you told me you understand all of those things? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, sir.

How do you plead to each of these three

counts, Counts 1, 7 and 10, do you plead guilty or not guilty? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: those? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Guilty, Your Honor.

Do you plead guilty to each one of

As I told you a moment ago, when you

plead guilty you lose your right to a trial and of course the reason for that is that the purpose of a trial is to determine if you did what you're accused of. And if you come into court

as you're doing at the moment and you say, I'm guilty, I did it, then you have answered the question we would need a trial for so we don't need a trial. So by pleading guilty you waive

or lose or give up your right to a trial and there will not be any trial. Once again, do you understand that? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

And of course if you lose or give up

your right to a trial, it stands to reason that you lose all the rights that go with a trial. So by pleading guilty,

you're losing your right to confront and cross-examine witnesses called to testify against you, you're losing your

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right to call witnesses to testify in your behalf, and you're losing your right to bring them in by court order should they not want to come voluntarily. You're also losing your right

to be presumed innocent and to force the government to prove your guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. So once again, do you

understand that by pleading guilty, you give up or lose all of those rights? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: to remain silent. Yes, Your Honor.

I also told you that you had the right In a

When you plead guilty that changes.

few minutes I'm going to ask you what you did that makes you guilty of these charges. Clearly you have to answer those

questions and to that extent you're giving up your right to remain silent. Do you understand that? Yes, Your Honor. I'm told there is a plea

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

agreement in this case. document. of you?

And I believe I have the original

Do you have a copy of this plea agreement in front

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Yes, Your Honor.

Turning to the last page, it appears

that Ms. Shekmer signed this document today as the prosecutor, and you and your attorney signed it yesterday. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Let's look at the back page

All right.

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and I'll show you the back page of the original. signature? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: yesterday? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: over? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: before you signed it? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: before you signed it? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Yes, sir, I did. Yes, Your Honor. Yes, Your Honor. Yes, sir, it is.

Is that your

All right.

And you signed this

Before you signed it, did you read it

Did you discuss it with Mr. Gezon

Most importantly, did you understand it

Fine.

I'm going to ask the prosecutor

to summarize the highlights of this agreement, not necessarily everything. I would like you to pay very close attention to

what she says because in a few minutes I will ask you if you agree with what she says. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Okay? Yes, sir. Ms. Shekmer.

Fine.

MS. SHEKMER:

Count 1 or, excuse me, paragraph 1 of

the plea agreement states that the defendant agrees to enter pleas of guilty to Counts 1, 7 and 10 which the Court has

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already gone over so I don't need to repeat that. Paragraph 2 sets forth the elements of the offense that are involved with each of the three different offenses. Paragraph 3 sets forth the penalty sections regarding all of the three offenses which this Court has already gone over. Paragraph 4 is a stipulation that reads, "The defendant stipulates and agrees that he manufactured at least 125 plants at 2935 Jolly, Okemos, Michigan between June 2010 and November 30th, 2010, and that 2935 Jolly, Okemos, Michigan is located less than one thousand feet from the Okemos High School, a public secondary school. The defendant stipulates

and agrees that he manufactured at least 122 marijuana plants at 608 North Magnolia, Lansing, Michigan between August of 2010 and December 1st of 2010." In paragraph 5, the defendant is agreeing to cooperate with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Attorney's office, and any other law enforcement agency as directed. And it sets forth the details of that cooperation. Paragraph 6 is agreements by the United States Attorney's office. The government has agreed to dismiss at

the time of sentencing and with permission of the Court Counts 2 through 6, 8 through 9, and 11 of the indictment as to the defendant. In subsection B the government has agreed

not to bring additional charges against the defendant for any

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of the information that he provided relative to this instant offense. Section C the defendant provided a proffer to the government and the government is agreeing not to enhance his sentence based on things that the government did not previously know, however, it is expressly understood that such information may be used by the government at sentencing if the defendant takes the position at sentencing that contradicts information provided by the defendant pursuant to this agreement or any proffer agreement. Under subsection D the government is agreeing not to oppose the defendant's request for a two-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility, and indicates additionally that if his offense, adjusted offense level is 16 or greater that his plea was in fact timely and he would then be entitled to the additional third point for acceptance of responsibility, all of which is conditioned on the fact that he doesn't do anything between now and sentencing that would deny him acceptance of responsibility. Paragraph 7 sets forth the possibility of sentence reduction motions. It speaks to both the 5K1.1 possibility,

3553(e), release of mandatory minimum and/or Rule 35(b) motions under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. And

this basically is not a guarantee or promise to the defendant, but that the defendant will assist the government and the

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government will review his case for that.

However, once --

if any such motion is filed, then the Court has complete discretion to grant or deny the motion. Paragraph 8 talks about the sentencing guidelines as does paragraph 9 saying there is no final agreement about the sentencing guidelines. And paragraph 10 talks about his, defendant's waiver of constitutional rights which this Court has already gone over. I think the only thing that is additional to what the Court has already gone over is that by pleading guilty the defendant also gives up any and all rights to pursue any affirmative defenses, Fourth Amendment or Fifth Amendment claims or other pretrial motions that have been filed or could be filed. I don't believe there are any outstanding motions

at this time. Paragraph 11 basically puts the defendant on notice that the Court is not a party to this agreement. an agreement between the government and himself. That this is And the

Court can neither accept nor reject the agreement but that no one can make a binding prediction or promise regarding the sentence the defendant will receive. Paragraph 12, again, states that this agreement is limited to the parties. In this case we are talking about

other federal, state or local prosecuting, administrative or

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regulatory authorities. Paragraph 13 talks about consequences of breach should the defendant breach any portion of this plea agreement, and gives the government one year to reinstitute prosecution even if otherwise time barred within one year from the date of defendant's breach. And paragraph 14 simply says this is the complete agreement and understanding between the parties and there are no other agreements, and if there are any other agreements or changes to be made they would be made in writing signed by all parties or placed on the record in open court. THE COURT: Fine. Thank you, Ms. Shekmer. Before

you sit down, have any other promises been made to the defendant to get him to plead guilty or to get him to sign this agreement other than what's written down in this document? MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT: No, Your Honor. Mr. Gezon, do you concur

Thank you.

with all of Ms. Shekmer's statements about the plea agreement? MR. GEZON: THE COURT: I do, Your Honor. Are you aware of any other promises Are you aware of any other

made to your client by anybody?

promises to get him to plead guilty or to sign this agreement other than what's in the document itself? MR. GEZON: No, Your Honor. We had, as you alluded

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to, several discussions about what the sentence guidelines might be in this case and what the judge might sentence the defendant to. But those were all conditioned upon the

representations in this plea agreement that that's up to the judge. THE COURT: Thank you. Mr. Forsberg, did you hear

what both attorneys said about this plea agreement? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Do you agree with what they both said? Yes, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Some representations have been made in But did anybody

this agreement that appear to benefit you.

else at any time promises you anything to get you to plead guilty today that's not in this plea agreement? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: No, Your Honor.

This would be the time to say so if you Do you understand that?

thought there were such promises. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: correct? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Yes, Your Honor.

But there are no such promises, is that

Correct.

I would like to talk to you about a And I would like to direct

couple of these paragraphs myself.

your attention to paragraph number 2 which sets forth the elements of the offense. Do you have that in front of you?

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THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Yes, Your Honor.

The elements of the offense are the

parts of the offense the government has to prove before you can be convicted. And the prosecution, the government has to

prove each part or each element beyond any reasonable doubt before you can be convicted. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Do you understand that?

Yes, sir, I do. Well, in Count 1 you are

All right.

charged with a conspiracy, and the essence of a conspiracy is that you entered into an agreement with other people to violate federal law. And it's the agreement to violate the Do you

law that is really the essence of that charge. understand that? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

And they would have to prove here that

there was an agreement between two or more people, the agreement was to manufacture marijuana, which generally means grow marijuana, that you knowingly and voluntarily entered this agreement or joined with it. doing. You knew what you were

You did it on purpose, in other words, and that this

conspiracy as a whole involved a quantity of at least a hundred marijuana plants. Now, in addition, they would have to show that this conspiracy took place during 2010, from sometime around May to December 1st, and they would have to show this conspiracy took

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place somewhere in the Western District of Michigan, which means the western half of the State of Michigan. And they

would have to prove those things because that's what's been charged in the indictment. Do you understand they would have to prove everything I just mentioned beyond any reasonable doubt before you could be convicted of Count 1? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

In Count 7, they would have to prove Again, that

that you actually manufactured or grew marijuana.

you did so knowing what you were doing, and intentionally or on purpose. It wasn't a situation where you thought you were You had to

growing roses and it turns out it was marijuana.

know what you were doing, and it was something you wanted to do. And they would have to prove that the quantity of And they

marijuana was at least a hundred marijuana plants.

would have to prove that all of this happened within one thousand feet of a public secondary school, which usually means a high school. And they would have to prove, again,

that this took place in the Western District of Michigan, because that's what gives this court jurisdiction. And they

would have to prove that it happened on the dates charged. And according to turning to Count 7, they are alleging that this took place from sometime around June of 2010 to about the end of November 2010. And they are saying that this took

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place in Ingham County, which is in this district, the Western District of Michigan. The school involved was Okemos High School, which is a public high school. Do you understand the elements that they would have to prove beyond any reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction on Count 7? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

And on Count 10, they would have to

prove that, again, that you grew marijuana; that, again, that you knew what you were doing and that you did it on purpose or intentionally; and that the offense involved at least a hundred marijuana plants, that you grew at least a hundred plants; and in this instance they would have to show that this took place between August of 2010 and the beginning of December 2010, and again, in Ingham County. And I believe

those are the facts they would have to prove there. Do you understand everything they would have, all the elements they would have to prove to obtain a conviction on Count 10? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Mr. Gezon, do you concur that that's a

proper recitation of all the elements the government would have to prove in regard to each of these three counts? MR. GEZON: I do, Your Honor. And those are the

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elements we went over together previously. THE COURT: at that for a moment. Paragraph 4 is a stipulation, and it says here that you are stipulating and agreeing that you did certain things, and then it spells those things out here. When parties Fine. Let's move to paragraph 4, look

stipulate to something, that means they are agreeing that these facts are true, and that nobody has to prove them further during the course of the proceedings such as at sentencing. You're agreeing that these facts can be taken as Is that your

established and you won't contest them.

understanding of what you're agreeing to here? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

And you told me you had read the whole

agreement, and so I assume you read paragraph 4 as well. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

And are all, pardon me, are all of the

facts stated in paragraph 4 correct as far as you know? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: facts? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: number 11. 11? Yes, sir, I am. Let's move to paragraph Yes, Your Honor, they are.

And you're agreeing to all of those

All right.

This is on page 9.

Do you see paragraph number

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THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Yes, sir.

This is entitled the Court is not a When we use the word Court, we mean Today I

party to this agreement. the judge.

We are talking about Judge Neff here.

suppose we are talking about me as well, but we are really talking about Judge Neff. And so what this sentence really

reads is that Judge Neff is not a party to this agreement. What we have here is an agreement that you have entered into with the prosecutor on behalf of the government. And that's Some

perfectly appropriate to enter into this agreement.

people call it a plea agreement, a plea bargain, a deal, whatever you want to call it, it's an agreement you've entered into with the government. Perfectly appropriate. Which is what And

And you both reduced it to writing. the plea agreement is.

That's perfectly appropriate.

you're both explaining it to Judge Neff through me. that's perfectly appropriate.

And

But merely because you have

entered into an agreement with the government and you're telling the judge about it, doesn't mean the judge is bound by it, and she is not. She didn't sign this agreement. If you

did look on the back page you wouldn't find her signature there. You find your signature. I didn't sign it. You're

merely telling us about the agreement that the two of you have reached. But that doesn't mean the judge is bound by it. Do you understand that? And

she is not bound by it.

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THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Yes, Your Honor.

Now, of course the significance of that

is that if she is not a party to this agreement, she is not bound by it, that she doesn't have to follow anybody's recommendation that might arise out of this. Certainly if

somebody recommends to her a certain course of action that would benefit you, she will consider it. But she doesn't have

to follow it because she is not a party to this agreement. Do you understand that? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

And if somebody has predicted to you

what Judge Neff will do in this case as far as a sentence is concerned, I can tell you she has not heard the prediction and she would not be bound by it if she had heard it. understand that? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, sir, I do. Do you

So at the end of the day, when

everything is considered, everybody has made their arguments, recommendations and so forth, it's going to be up to Judge Neff to decide the sentence of the Court and it's entirely within her discretion. Do you understand that? Yes, sir, I do.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

And you're agreeing to that? Yes, Your Honor. Fine. Let's talk for a

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

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moment about your voluntariness in making this plea.

Did

anybody use any force, make any threats to you, use any duress or undue pressure as far as you're concerned to plead guilty today or to sign this agreement yesterday? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: voluntarily? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. No, Your Honor.

You did both of these things

Any doubt about that in your mind? No, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: this? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

You have had enough time to think about

Yes, Your Honor.

You talked about it with Mr. Gezon at

length, I would imagine? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: actually happened. Yes, Your Honor. Well, let's talk about what We

All right.

Let's go through each of these counts.

will start with Count 1.

I need to have you tell me in your

own words if you would, please, what you did that makes you guilty of Count 1. And if it helps to follow along on any of But tell me

these documents, please feel free to do that. what happened. THE DEFENDANT:

Your Honor, myself and those listed

in the indictment agreed to manufacture and grow medical

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cannabis. THE COURT: When did you agree to do this? Sometime in the summer of 2010.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: marijuana? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: here.

And did you in fact grow this

Yes, Your Honor.

Now, you said the other people named

We have Dennis James Forsberg, we have Ryan Newton

Ellis Basore, did I pronounce it? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: have you named here. Basore, I believe. Douglas Frakes or Frakes. We

Okay.

We have Dennis Corey and a Kyle Corey, Were all of these people involved in

and a Patrick Karslake.

this agreement to grow marijuana? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: start? THE DEFENDANT: July. THE COURT: All right. And it continued for a Sometime in June, Your Honor, or Yes, Your Honor.

And when did the growing actually

period of time, I take it? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, sir, it did.

How long? About five months, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

And why did it end?

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THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Through a federal raid, Your Honor.

Where was this marijuana grown? In proximity of a secondary school, Allen Township,

THE DEFENDANT:

Okemos High School in Okemos, Michigan. Ingham County, Your Honor. THE COURT: County? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: All right.

So you were within Ingham

Yes, Your Honor.

Because Okemos is just east of East

Lansing and that's well within Ingham County? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: school there? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Yes, sir. Did you know there was a

All right.

You live in Okemos? Yes, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Did you go to the high school? I went to Williamston High School,

THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor. THE COURT:

Play Okemos in sports? Yes, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: School was? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

So no doubt you knew where Okemos High

Yes, Your Honor, I do. Is marijuana grown indoors

All right.

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or outdoors? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: period of time? THE DEFENDANT: the raid, Your Honor. THE COURT: That's, had you grown some other ones Approximately 122 at the time of Indoors, Your Honor.

How many plants were grown during this

earlier and sold them off or something? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

At the time that the federal

authorities came in, there were at least 125 marijuana plants at that location, is that right? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: location? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: 2935 Jolly Road, Okemos, Michigan. Are you satisfied that that Yes, Your Honor.

And what was the address for that

All right.

address is actually less than a thousand feet from the Okemos High School? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: football fields away? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: that address? Yes, Your Honor. Yes, Your Honor.

How many football fields is that, three

You could see the school from the, from

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THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: happening? THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor. THE COURT:

Yes, Your Honor.

Who lived there at the time this was

It's a light commercial facility,

Okay.

So it's not a house?

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

No, Your Honor.

Pole barn? Of sorts, yes, sir. And do you have to have special

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Okay.

grow equipment to grow this many plants? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

What did that consist of? High pressure sodium lights, air

THE DEFENDANT:

conditioning units, fans, in essence nutrients, and that's the gambit. THE COURT: All right. What was your role in

growing this marijuana? THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor, I was a contractor

on-site getting rooms within an environmental variable that is containable. THE COURT: I'm sorry, what does that mean? For a plant to come to fruition it This pole barn

THE DEFENDANT:

must stay within certain temperature ranges.

was a tin can in the middle of a field with winter

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approaching.

So insulation and light blocking, protection

from the outside needed to become a part of the operation. THE COURT: You had to kind of insulate it and

prepare the physical surroundings to grow these plants? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. I don't think we

All right.

necessarily have to talk about all these people, but there is another Forsberg here. to you? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: That's my father, Your Honor. What was his role in this? Dennis Forsberg. What's his relation

All right.

THE DEFENDANT:

He owned the buildings, or was the

managed lease tenant operator through a family company looking to rent the facilities, Your Honor. THE COURT: All right. Now, did he know that you

were growing marijuana here? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

And he provided you the legal access to

the building by either because he owned it, his family company owned it, or he was responsible for leasing it? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: role in this? THE DEFENDANT: More or less to keep the paperwork Yes, Your Honor.

Brian Newton Ellis Basore, what was his

for legal, statewide legal, and to find caregivers to rent the

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space, Your Honor. THE COURT: this? THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor. THE COURT: He helped finance it, I take it? More or less, yes. I had very He was kind of a private investor, What was Douglas George Frakes' role in

THE DEFENDANT:

limited contact with Mr. Frakes. THE COURT: Now, who actually grew the marijuana

itself, any of these people that are listed here? THE DEFENDANT: Honor. THE COURT: Okay. There are two Coreys here; did I would have to say myself, Your

they have anything to do with growing it? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: or was it -THE DEFENDANT: I helped them. Your Honor, However, Kyle Yes, Your Honor.

They help you out or you help them out

Mr. Corey, Sr. and his son Kyle were on-site.

had very limited understanding of farming or agriculture, growing anything. Mr. Corey as well, Sr. And so they relied

upon me and my knowledge. THE COURT: other locations then? THE DEFENDANT: My home, Your Honor. I take it you had grown marijuana at

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THE COURT: Karslake?

Okay.

And what was the role of Patrick

THE DEFENDANT:

Your Honor, I never really came He had his own, quote,

into contact with him but once. unquote, hobby farm going. THE COURT:

Never to visit 2935.

So he wasn't growing any marijuana at

your physical location? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: No, Your Honor.

And once the marijuana was grown, how

is it distributed going forward? THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor, myself and Mr. Basore

would take plants home to trim and prepare to be sent to the caregivers. THE COURT: So you would take them off this site

and take them someplace else? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: these to your home? THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor. THE COURT: Also in Ingham County? Yes, sir. And you and the other I lived about ten minutes away, Yes, Your Honor.

How far away did you live, if you took

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

people in this conspiracy were paid to do this? THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor. It was with the

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hope of a better tomorrow through the fruition of growing the cannabis. We were hoping to make money enough to supplement

bills and incomes. THE COURT: money? THE DEFENDANT: money, Your Honor. Well, we lost a great deal of If you didn't sell it, how did you make

But the investments were initially made And we never got

that bank rolled the first several months.

to a point where much money was actually turned over. THE COURT: You said somebody here invested money I assume, take a step back, that

or they put money into it.

some money was necessary to buy the grow equipment, to buy the insulation for this tin can that you talked about in the middle of a field and so forth. There is probably electricity

or some sort of power coming to the building. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

All of that took money. Yes, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: investors. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: to do this? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

And that money came from your

I would assume, Your Honor. Well, were you paid at all

All right.

No, Your Honor.

You just had a lot of time on your

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hands? THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor. I also

supplemented my income through 608 North Magnolia. THE COURT: All right. That was another place we

are going to talk about in a few minutes, I take it? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

And you were growing marijuana there? Yes, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

How did you supplement your income by

growing marijuana there? THE DEFENDANT: Your Honor. THE COURT: And you were paid for that marijuana? Yes, Your Honor. I have my caregiver status there,

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: cards, I take it? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

By the people who had medical marijuana

Yes, Your Honor.

At some point if this operation on

Jolly Road that we have been talking about had further established, was the intent to sell this marijuana to people with medical marijuana cards? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

And they would pay for that? Yes, Your Honor. Well that was the intent

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

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even though you might not have gotten a lot of money or any money at the time the federal authorities came in? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: it. Did you know you were in violation of federal law in doing this? THE DEFENDANT: Honor. THE COURT: Did you think you were in compliance After the fact I became aware, Your Yes, sir. I think I have a picture of

All right.

with state law in doing this? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: before this? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: there, I take it? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. About a year, Your Honor. Yes, Your Honor.

You had grown marijuana for sometime

You knew there was a federal law out

And did you have some reason to believe

it didn't apply to you? THE DEFENDANT: I thought Colorado and California

had set precedence, Your Honor, and it was my limited understanding and putting on blinders that led me to believe what I want, Your Honor. THE COURT: You understand now that under federal

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law you couldn't do any of these things. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Before we move on to the other two

charges, I want to ask counsel if you believe the statements made by the defendant are sufficient to support a plea of guilty to Count 1. MR. GEZON: I do, Your Honor. With the

stipulations that are in the plea agreement. THE COURT: MR. GEZON: plants. What are you referring to? The amounts and the locations of the

What is that, paragraph -THE COURT: MR. GEZON: THE COURT: 4. Yes. I think your client said there were at

least 125 marijuana plants at this address, which was 2935 Jolly Road in Okemos. MR. GEZON: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. All right. And, Mr. Gezon, I'm sure Any doubt in your mind at

you've investigated this matter.

all that this address is within one thousand feet of Okemos High School? MR. GEZON: THE COURT: None, Your Honor. All right. Ms. Shekmer, do you believe

the statements made by the defendant are sufficient to support a plea of guilty to Count 1?

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MS. SHEKMER:

Your Honor, I do, but if you would

indulge me I think I might help the Court and speed this along by explaining just a little bit about what was going on here. All of the defendants in the indictment were involved in the manufacture of marijuana. actually four separate locations involved. However, there was There was 2935

Jolly, which the defendant today has spoken about, there was also a building next to it which was 2933 Jolly, and marijuana was grown in both of those locations. Those locations were

owned by one of Mr. Forsberg's father's family's companies, and subleased to or leased to a company called RYDEN. RYDEN

consisted of Dennis Forsberg, Ryan Basore, Douglas Frakes, and Lance Forsberg. marijuana. RYDEN was formed for the purpose of growing

RYDEN is the company when the defendant talks

about people making an investment, it was to RYDEN that the people made the investment, and then the buildings were built out to grow marijuana in them by the insulation and other things Mr. Forsberg has stated. Then Mr. Corey, this is Dennis Corey, and Mr. Kyle Corey signed separate yet again subleases leasing these two buildings as the people who were allegedly growing the marijuana in the buildings. When in fact Lance Forsberg and

RYDEN was growing the marijuana in the buildings and Kyle Corey was assisting Mr. Forsberg in the growing of marijuana, and Dennis Corey was really assisting more with the cleanup

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around the area because he was hoping to learn how to do this and do it in the future. Those are one location. There are two locations

but in one sort of light industrial complex owned by the Forsberg family, and that's across the street from the Okemos High School. location. THE COURT: moment. I'm going to stop you for just a There is another location which is the Jolly Oak

Mr. Forsberg, did you hear everything the prosecutor

just said? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Do you agree with what she just said? Yes, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All of that's correct? Yes, Your Honor. Fine. Please go on.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

MS. SHEKMER:

And then there was another location

which is the Jolly Oak location, which I believe this defendant had some contact with but not as much, and this was yet another corporation; this was a building that was owned by the Forsberg family. It was leased to Pat Karslake. Patrick

Karslake then subleased it to Dennis Forsberg, and other people, and they grew marijuana in there. And the portion of

the marijuana that was associated with Ryan Basore and others was under another limited liability company called DENRY. But

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it operated the same way as RYDEN. Then there was a fourth location. THE COURT: That pertained to Count 7 or 10? No, no, but it's part of the

MS. SHEKMER: conspiracy.

And then the fourth location is the defendant's All the other

residence which was on Magnolia in Lansing. locations were in Okemos.

And at his own location and

residence, he was growing 122 marijuana plants, and those plants were serving as the mother plants to make the clones, to make the individual plants that would end up at other locations in this conspiracy. And with regard to the harvesting of marijuana, there was at least one harvest and possibly two at the various locations, and that, although some was sold to the patients, excess was sold to a dispensary owned by Ryan Basore. And

that's where the cash came back into the company to help pay expenses. As the Court asked about the lights, the

electricity, what not, that's where some of that money came from. THE COURT: Mr. Forsberg, did you hear everything

else the prosecutor just said? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Is all of that correct as well? Yes, Your Honor.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

You agree with all of that?

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THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: 7.

Yes, sir, I do. Fine. Let's look at Count

All right.

Now, Count 7 doesn't charge a conspiracy but it charges

the actual manufacture of marijuana within a thousand feet of a school. Ms. Shekmer, are we talking about 2939 Jolly Road

on this one? MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT: 2935, Your Honor, Jolly. And that's 2935

2935 Jolly, I'm sorry.

Jolly is the same address we were talking about in Count 1. MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT: Correct. So this is the same growing

All right.

operation but here you're charging the actual manufacture of the marijuana rather than a conspiracy. MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT: understanding as well? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Correct. Mr. Forsberg, is that your

All right.

And in regard to Count 7, I don't think

we have to go over all those facts again because I think the factual basis you gave me for Count 1 would supply the facts for Count 7. If I went through all those facts again and restated those again, you would agree that all of those pertain to Count 7 as well? THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

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THE COURT:

And you were actually the person in

charge of growing a lot of this marijuana based on your experience, is that right? THE DEFENDANT: well read, Your Honor. THE COURT: Okay. And in addition to the growing The most knowledgeable, the most

the plants themselves, you provided the physical facilities or you got the physical facilities up and running to grow these plants? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Ms. Shekmer, do you believe

All right.

the statements adopted by the defendant as stated previously are sufficient to support a plea of guilty to Count 7? MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT: MR. GEZON: THE COURT: I do, Your Honor. Mr. Gezon, do you agree?

Thank you.

I do also, Your Honor. All right. Let's move to Count 10. Where

This is another allegation of the growing of marijuana. is it alleged, Ms. Shekmer, that this took place? MS. SHEKMER: Your Honor, this is at the

defendant's at that time residence which was on Magnolia; I believe it was South Magnolia is Lansing. THE COURT: Mr. Forsberg, I think you may have

already alluded to this or the prosecutor has, but tell me what happened as far as Count 10 is concerned and where it

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happened. THE DEFENDANT: personal residence. THE COURT: North Magnolia? Yes, Your Honor. What city is that in? 608 North Magnolia, Your Honor. My

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: County. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: in 2010? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Lansing, Michigan. That of course is in Ingham

All right.

Yes, Your Honor. And is that where you lived

All right.

Yes, Your Honor.

That was your home. Yes, Your Honor. And you grew marijuana

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: there as well? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

Yes, Your Honor.

Tell me what happened there. I became a caregiver, Your Honor. Had a couple

THE DEFENDANT:

Started trying to learn to grow cannabis there.

failed ventures and continued to practice, continued to read, and practice being a caregiver under what I assumed was my legal right. THE COURT: Under Michigan law?

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THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Under Michigan law.

Not under federal law? No, Your Honor. Go ahead.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Okay.

THE DEFENDANT:

As my house continued to be

infiltrated with mold, and humidity, and excessive power bills, I looked to transfer over to the other commercial facility. THE COURT: If you were learning at Magnolia, and

that took place no earlier than what took place on Jolly Road, I assume that what took place on Magnolia actually started before August of 2010? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Although the charge only

All right.

pertains to the time of August 2010 up to December 2010, is that right? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. And you simply found that

All right.

as a physical facility was not adequate because of the mold and the cost and so forth to grow the amount of marijuana that you were growing? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

That's why you moved to Jolly Road? That was my intentions, Your Honor. Now, did you continue to

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

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operate the place at Magnolia where you lived while the Jolly Road grow operation was going on? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

And did you grow at least a hundred

marijuana plants at the Magnolia address during the August to December time period? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: marijuana plants? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: them. THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. And how do you know there Yes, Your Honor. Yes, Your Honor.

And of course you knew these were

In fact that's why you were growing

All right.

was a hundred plants there or more? THE DEFENDANT: It was brought to my attention by

the federal agents, Your Honor, that I had exceeded my federal statute of a hundred plants. THE COURT: Federal statute or state statute? I was in excess of a hundred

THE DEFENDANT: plants. THE COURT:

There is no federal statute that lets

you grow a hundred plants, is there? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: No, Your Honor. How many plants do you

All right.

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acknowledge that were actually at that address? stipulated to that in paragraph 4. THE DEFENDANT: healthy plants. THE COURT: Separate growing plants? Yes, Your Honor. Yes, Your Honor.

I think you

There was 122

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

All right.

Now, you said you had

removed some plants from the Jolly Street address and taken them home, is that right? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: The other way around, sir. Tell me --

Oh, I'm sorry.

THE DEFENDANT:

For one to continue a genetic Every cannabis

strain, a clone must be made of that plant.

plant has different qualities and so certain cannabis plants are preferred because of their vigorous nature. And so I

would try to find a hardy, vigorous bumper crop plant, so to speak, and then I would supply clones to the caregivers for a supplemental amount of income. THE COURT: When you say you would supply it to

them, you would give them the plant? THE DEFENDANT: I would cut the clones and make

them root so that they become a plant. THE COURT: All right. Would you give those new

plants to other people? THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

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THE COURT:

And did some of those new plants go to

the Jolly Road address that you have told us about? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. All right. Ms. Shekmer, do you

I see.

believe the statements made by the defendant are sufficient to support a plea of guilty to Count 10? MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT: MR. GEZON: THE COURT: I do, Your Honor.

Mr. Gezon, do you agree? I do also, Your Honor. All right. And I take it,

Mr. Forsberg, that the other people named in Count 10 assisted you at your address at Magnolia? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: marijuana at Magnolia? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Magnolia with you? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: No, Your Honor. So whatever was grown at Really no involvement, Your Honor. No, Your Honor, they did not.

What was their involvement with growing

Did any of these people live at

All right.

Magnolia, which was 122 plants at the time of the federal authorities coming in, that was all your own operation? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor. Have you had sufficient

All right.

time and opportunity to talk about this case with Mr. Gezon?

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THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: advised you? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Yes, Your Honor.

Are you satisfied with the way he has

Completely, Your Honor.

Are you satisfied with his

representation of you here in court? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, Your Honor.

Do you have any questions about

anything we have talked about? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: No, Your Honor.

You still wish to plead guilty? Yes, Your Honor, I do.

THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT:

Is there anything else the attorneys

want to place on the record at this time that would affect the sentencing guidelines or the preparation of the presentence report? Ms. Shekmer. MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT: MR. GEZON: No, Your Honor.

Mr. Gezon. Yes, Your Honor. As you've been able

to ascertain from asking questions and understanding what happened here, this group of people were growing marijuana for what they thought was medical or was for medical marijuana purposes hoping to be within the scope of the state law. think eventually the proofs will show and the presentence report that they were not necessarily in complete compliance I

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with the state law.

And that they were hoping that they were,

although they knew it was against federal law, they were hoping from what they saw in newspapers and from other reports that the federal prosecutors would not charge them if they stayed at the level they were. They were wrong in that. And

eventually that's why they are here.

But this is not about

any illegal diversion to the illegal marijuana trade outside of the medical marijuana trade. wanted to add. That's the only thing I

It's not necessary for the elements of this

case, Your Honor, but I just wanted to clarify that from the questions that were asked and from what the prosecutor said. THE COURT: further? MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT: No. Thank you. All right. Thank you. Anything

That was my sense from the responses.

It doesn't, however, change what the federal law provides or requires. The federal law is still there. It's been in

existence for a long period of time and certainly long before the state decided that it was going to allow medical marijuana, or at least not prosecute medical marijuana. I

don't know if they technically ever allow it but they may have decided under certain instances they wouldn't prosecute it. Regardless, that never changed federal law. Both the federal government and the State of Michigan have a law against bank robbery, and the State of

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Michigan if it wanted to say, well, gee, in light of a poor economic situation we will let you take money out of a bank illegally by robbing it every Wednesday morning and not prosecute you for it, I suppose they could do that. change federal law. Wouldn't

Federal law has always made bank robbery That may not be a strict

a crime and still is a crime. analogy here.

But you have two different sovereigns

prohibiting the same conduct; merely because one sovereign has said we are no longer going to prosecute it, doesn't change what the other sovereign can do or is doing which is prosecuting it. I find, first of all, that the defendant is competent to enter a plea of guilty at this time and that his plea is both knowledgeable and voluntary. Second, I find the

defendant fully understands his rights, the nature of the charge against him, or the charges against him, and the consequences of his pleas of guilty to each of these three charges. Third, I find the defendant's pleas do have a sufficient basis in fact which contains all the elements of the offenses charged. And, fourth, I find the defendant is in fact guilty of these three charges. and forthcoming. Therefore, I accept the plea subject of course to The defendant has been very candid

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final adjudication on these matters by the district judge at or before the time of sentencing. I find both the plea agreement and the pleas to have been voluntarily and knowingly entered into. However, I

do not accept or reject the plea agreement but specifically reserve acceptance of that agreement for the district judge at or before the time of sentencing. The parties know my report and recommendation. You

have 14 days from today to file any objections to that, even though you have not yet received a written copy, although I suspect one will be on your desk before you get back to your respective offices. The matter is referred to the probation office for preparation of a presentence report. Mr. Gezon, I know you're

aware of your obligation to put your client in immediate contact with that office. The transcript of these proceedings

is available through the clerk's office to counsel upon request. Unless there is an objection bond will be continued. Is there anything further we need to do this

morning on this case, Ms. Shekmer? MS. SHEKMER: THE COURT: further? MR. GEZON: No. Thank you very much. No. Mr. Gezon, anything

Thank you.

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THE COURT:

Fine.

Thank you.

And we will stand in

recess until our next matter. (Proceedings concluded, 11:52 a.m.)

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C E R T I F I C A T E

I certify that the foregoing is a transcript from the Liberty Court Recording System digital recording of the proceedings in the above-entitled matter to the best of my ability.

/s/ Kathy J. Anderson Kathy J. Anderson, CSR-2573 U.S. District Court Reporter 402 Federal Building Grand Rapids, MI 49503

KATHY J. ANDERSON, U.S. DISTRICT COURT REPORTER