Two local men charged in a marijuana growing and distributing operation have been bound over for trial.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting 48-year-old Jeffrey Allen Michael of Fowlerville and 54-year-old Darryl Scott Berry of Howell, who are facing a number of charges, including delivering/manufacturing a controlled substance and conspiracy. Additionally, Berry faces a count of conducting criminal enterprises. Both men were recently bound over to Livingston County Circuit Court.

Michael and Berry, along with three other men, were charged following a 15-month investigation into the alleged operation. Berry’s attorney previously stated that his client is a caregiver and was growing marijuana for his patients for medicinal use. Authorities have said they believe that to be a pretense.

The charges against the five men said to be involved in the operation were authorized almost two years ago. Two received a probation sentence, while the case against the third was dismissed in 67th District Court. A stay in the case against Michael and Berry however caused a holdup.

Marijuana plants that were collected during the investigation were destroyed by police, which led Judge Carol Sue Reader to dismiss several charges against Michael and Berry last year. Judge Reader later reversed her decision, prompting attorneys to appeal. The appeal was denied by Judge Michael P. Hatty in June.

Michael and Berry return to court November 17th for a pre-trial hearing. (DK)