Kingsford man appears in U.S. District Court on marijuana charge

A Kingsford man is waiting for his next court date in a federal drug case.

Randall Raymond Fieck, Jr., is charged with manufacturing and attempting to manufacture marijuana. The charge carries a sentence of five to 40 years in prison if found guilty.

Fieck was scheduled to have a motions hearing Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Marquette. His attorney filed a motion to dismiss the search warrant that a state judge issued for a search of Fieck’s home.

“And the basis of that motion is really quite simple,” defense attorney Karl Numinen said. “Under the state law with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, there was no probable cause for the state judge to issue the warrant. The problem that we have now is, medical marijuana is still illegal in the federal courts.”

Fieck is a licensed Michigan medical marijuana cardholder.

The KIND Drug Enforcement Team said it found a large marijuana grow operation in his basement in late January. Police said they seized more than 200 marijuana plants, a large amount of cash and two pounds of processed marijuana.

“The prosecutor’s positions is, because marijuana – whether it’s medical or not – is still an illegal drug in federal law, that the state judge who issued the warrant still had probable cause,” Numinen said. “I think a lot of people don’t realize, just because they have a Michigan medical marijuana card does not mean that they’re in the clear. They still have to be very careful about federal prosecutions.”

The motions hearing did not take place. Numinen said a witness who was scheduled to appear was unavailable because he was hurt in a car accident Sunday night. Assistant U.S. Attorney Maarten Vermaat said the witness is the police officer who showed up at Fieck’s door. The hearing will be rescheduled in the near future.

Fieck has been released on a personal recognizance bond. Judge Timothy Greeley modified his bond Monday to state that if Fieck has any prescriptions, he must take those medications as prescribed. The judge had received notice that Fieck obtained a prescription for the painkiller Oxycodone, only to have at least some of his pills disappear.