Michigan Marijuana Entrepreneur Faces Multiple Felony Charges for Cyberstalking

October 28th, 2023 Legal & Crime
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Michigan's marijuana industry is witnessing a legal storm as Michael Doherty, a prominent cannabis business entrepreneur, is currently held in Ingham County Jail. Doherty was recently arraigned on 10 felony counts related to cyberstalking, targeting Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and several other unidentified individuals.

According to Lansing Assistant Police Chief Robert Backus, the authorities took Doherty into custody last Friday. The charges include aggravated cyberstalking and utilizing a computer for unlawful purposes. Doherty's arraignment saw 54-A District Judge Cynthia Ward setting a bail amount of $125,000. Further conditions for his release comprise wearing a GPS tether, undergoing a psychological evaluation, and strictly avoiding any contact with the victims mentioned in the complaint. While Backus refrained from disclosing all victims' identities, Mayor Schor confirmed he was one of them. Reports indicate that the victims received an overwhelming number of text messages, running into the thousands.

Doherty, owner of marijuana manufacturing firms MD Industries LLC and Rehbel Industries LLC, faced business hurdles as both companies crumbled under a massive $12.5 million debt. As a consequence, they were put under receivership in the previous year.

This isn't Doherty's first brush with the law. Last April, during a court hearing presided over by 30th Circuit Judge Draganchuk, he was handed a 93-day sentence for criminal contempt. This followed an outburst in which he accused the judge of engaging in "corrupt and unacceptable actions." The hearing centered on a motion put forth by attorney John Polderman, the court-appointed receiver. Polderman's motion accused Doherty of multiple misdemeanors, including harassing a title agent managing the transfer of MD Industries property, making veiled threats via email, and sending inappropriate messages to individuals connected to the case.

Post his release from Ingham County Jail, Doherty's controversial actions continued. He resumed emailing earlier contacts, extending his list of recipients. One notable target was Berl Schwartz, the editor and publisher of City Pulse. Disturbing messages from Doherty to Schwartz included an image of the editor with a caption reading, "These idiots will get theirs too." In a subsequent email, Doherty conveyed to Schwartz that his "entire Firm is going down over this... Can't perform Domestic Terrorism and get away with it in the Court of Law."

At the core of Doherty's grievances against City Pulse and Schwartz was the perceived lack of reporting on alleged "corruption" involving Polderman, Draganchuk, and others. It's worth noting that City Pulse had previously covered Doherty in 2020, documenting his purchase of the old John Bean factory and his subsequent establishment of a marijuana manufacturing venture. The media outlet has since published multiple stories on him, including an exclusive video capturing his contempt court hearing:

Doherty's legal journey continues, with his next court appearance slated for November 2nd before Judge Ward, as informed by Backus.

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