Hash oil lab case heads to trial.

December 3, 2019

Travis Gale, left, with attorney Matthew Kacel.

Hash oil lab case heads to trial.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART – The case against a 27-year-old Mears man charged with operating/maintaining a lab is headed to trial in 27th Circuit Court in March.

Travis Michael Gale, of 5178 W. Fox Rd., was offered a plea deal in which he could plead guilty as charged and face a minimum term of 15 months in prison with credit for eight months served in jail. Gale rejected the offer Monday, Dec. 2.

While police were conducting a search of Gale’s home last spring, they found equipment used to extract butane hash oil, Oceana County Proscutor Joseph Bizon said. Although marijuana is now legal for recreational use in Michigan, the process of making hash oil is not, he explained. “It is still illegal due to the danger.” Operating/maintaining a lab is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

During the search, Gale drove by his house. A traffic stop was conducted, and meth was found in his van, Bizon said. He is charged in a separate file with meth possession, which is also punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Both cases will be prosecuted together during a trial set for March 4-6.

Gale will also eventually face other charges that Bizon plans to pursue.

On Monday, Judge Robert D. Springstead granted Gale, who has been lodged in jail on a $25,000 bond, a personal recognizance bond which would take effect, Jan. 14.

The PR bond is the result of the 180 Day Rule, which allows a defendant charged with a felony to be released on personal recognizance if the defendant has been in jail for 180 days without being brought to trial — provided the delay is not caused by the defendant’s own actions.

Because there were delays to the trial at Gale’s request, his eligibility for the PR bond was delayed. “A significant amount of time was their delay,” Bizon said.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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