Ferris students face felony charges

Two Ferris State University students were arraigned Friday at the 77th District Court in Big Rapids on felony charges related to a marijuana complaint that officers responded to early last week.

Ferris officers were dispatched to Lot 4, a residential parking lot near Travis Hall, in reference to a marijuana complaint on Sept. 3 at 10:47 p.m. Once on the scene, officers reported smelling marijuana and witnessed several subjects fleeing.

According to the Ferris Department of Public Safety police log, one subject stopped, and two subjects were identified nearby.

Noah Raines, 18, of Ludington, was lodged in the Mecosta County Jail and later released on a $50,000 bond. He was charged with one count of illegal sale of medical marijuana. Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, registered medical marijuana patients are prohibited from selling marijuana to individuals not approved to use marijuana for medical purposes. If the case goes to trial, the maximum sentence possible is two years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine as well as loss of the individual’s medical marijuana license.

Raines was also charged with one count of delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana), which carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

Ferris DPS Director Bruce Borkovich declined to comment on the amount of marijuana recovered at the scene.

“I don’t think you can deny that since the Michigan medical marijuana law has been passed there’s more marijuana around. There’s no question,” Borkovich said. “There are folks who use marijuana under the authority of that law legally, and there are folks who don’t use it legally and who take an opportunity to sell it illegally.”

Even if a person has a medical marijuana card, they are still prohibited from using or possessing marijuana on Ferris’ campus, Borkovich added.

Dylan Naughton, 19, of Troy, was also lodged in the county jail and later released on a $25,000 bond. He was charged with one count of furnishing contraband to prisoners, specifically marijuana oil. The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.

Additionally, Naughton was charged with one count of resisting an officer, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.

The third subject, who is also a Ferris student, was charged with minor in possession of alcohol, which is a misdemeanor offense.

The final pretrial conference for both Raines and Naughton was scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 10. An update on the case was not available at press time.

If an agreement was not reached at the pretrial conference, a preliminary examination will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the Mecosta County courthouse.