Hash oil lab case could result in plea.

February 10, 2020

Travis Gale, left, with attorney John Greer.

Hash oil lab case could result in plea.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART – The case against a 27-year-old Mears man charged with operating/maintaining a lab is scheduled for trial next month in 27th Circuit Court, but a plea offer may eliminate the need for a trial.

Travis Michael Gale, of 5178 W. Fox Rd., is also charged with numerous weapons charges in a third criminal file. If a resolution can be reached in the hash oil lab case, the weapons case will be dismissed, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon.

Gale appeared in court Monday, Feb. 10, with attorney John Greer, who represents him in the weapons case. Defense attorney Ryan Kacel respresents Gale in the drug case.

While police were conducting a search of Gale’s home last spring, they found equipment used to extract butane hash oil, 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 second file with meth possession, which is also punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Since the filing of the drug charges, Gale has also been charged in a third criminal file with felonies of receiving and concealing stolen property $1,000-$20,000, possession of firearms by a felon and felony firearm. Police searched his home and found the weapons, Bizon said.

Gale was offered a plea deal last December in which he could plead guilty as charged in the drug case and face a minimum term of 15 months in prison with credit for eight months served in jail. He rejected the offer.

Bizon noted that if Gale was convicted of all the charges in the three files, they would run concurrently so he would not serve any more time than if he is convicted in just the two drug-related files.

A pretrial conference is set for March 23 at 8:30 a.m.

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