LANSING, MI (WILX) -- A Lansing man who owned medical marijuana shops around Michigan has been sentenced to nearly 16 years in federal prison.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan to ease the effects of certain illnesses, long before recreational marijuana was approved in 2018.
But federal investigators said Danny Trevino, 48, operated outside the medical marijuana law.
The government said Trevino can possess small amounts of marijuana with his own medical marijuana card, but that his criminal record prevents him from being a registered caregiver who can grow pot for others.
Trevino had prior felonies from drug convictions that involved cocaine and marijuana.
He was convicted of conspiring to manufacture and distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana or 100 marijuana plants, maintaining a drug-involved premises (5 counts), and manufacture of 100 marijuana plants or more.
Trevino’s defense attorney Nicholas Bostic said his client thought his actions were legal.
During sentencing, Judge Paul Maloney said that despite recent changes in laws, marijuana is still a federal schedule 1 drug. Maloney described Trevino's actions as defiant.
“Trevino’s conduct not only violated federal law, but it also made a mockery of the state laws of Michigan. Trevino had ample opportunity to realize the illegal nature of his business, both under federal and state law, given the number of times his operations were searched. He would not stop,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said.
Trevino’s dispensaries, Hydro World, were searched a total of 16 times, but despite that Trevino continued to operate his business.
Trevino owned and operated multiple dispensaries across the state. His dispensary Hyrdo World had storefronts in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Mount Pleasant and Flint from 2010 through 2017.
According to the Department of Justice, his dispensaries operated outside of both the state and federal law by leasing space to grow weed for other farmers, delivering marijuana to people in both Lansing and Jackson, growing more plants than he was allowed to own, providing for others when he was not allowed to, and continuing his businesses even after being warned to stop.
Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation. A special agent from Detroit’s Drug Enforcement Administration Field Division said Trevino was a serial violator who knew what he was doing.
“Trevino, a serial violator of federal and state law on a significant scale, warranted the federal and state law enforcement attention he received,” Keith Martin, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit Field Division, said.
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