Charges have been dropped against a local man accused of illegally growing large quantities of marijuana.

45-year-old Anthony Portelli of Whitmore Lake, along with two other men, was charged almost four years ago with various counts of delivering and manufacturing marijuana. The case against the men has spanned years, with motions alleging various medical marijuana defenses being held in abeyance.

At a status conference Thursday, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the case against Portelli and a motion to do so was granted by a Livingston County Circuit Court judge. In an email to WHMI Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt stated, β€œIn light of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Michigan, we determined that it was no longer an appropriate use of resources to proceed.”

The charges against Portelli, Jeffrey Mote of South Lyon and Richard Lee Riley of Brighton were filed in 2015, following a police raid in 2013 at an alleged marijuana dispensary in Brighton Township and two other homes. Authorities had claimed that Portelli managed the dispensary, Riley grew the marijuana plants and Mote owned the homes where they were being grown.

The case against Mote was dismissed in 2016 due to insufficient evidence, while Riley was sentenced that same year to six months of probation after pleading guilty to maintaining a drug house in exchange for the original charges being dismissed. (DK)