- Mark Gokavi Staff Writer
The son of the former director of the Miami Valley Crime Laboratory and Montgomery County Coroner’s Office and another man were indicted Friday on counts relating to an alleged marijuana operation of more than 44 pounds.
Thomas J. Betz, 38 — the son of recently retired crime lab director Ken Betz — and Michael C. Dorley, 40, both face charges of cultivation, possession and trafficking of more than 20,000 grams of marijuana and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, according to an indictment.
Betz also faces one count of money laundering in the indictment that covers activity from January 2012 until May 15, 2017. The indictment also calls for the forfeiture of four of Betz’s vehicles. Multiple homes, bank accounts and Dorley’s 1966 Ford Mustang are listed in the indictment as criminal instruments used in the commission of crimes.
Arrest warrants were issued Friday for both men. The case’s special prosecutor said there was no agreement in place for Betz and Dorley to turn themselves into police. Betz was in custody Friday afternoon. Dorley remained at large.
In May, search warrants were served by the Tactical Crime Suppression Unit at buildings on Kling Drive and TB Livery, Inc. on Valley Street in Dayton plus Woodville Drive in Harrison Twp. and West Waterbury Drive in Springboro.
Photos from the raids obtained by this news organization showed what appeared to be a marijuana growing operation.
Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Greg Flannagan said a special prosecutor was appointed to avoid a potential appearance of conflict of interest.
“The Tactical Crime Suppression Unit, which is a multi-jurisdictional joint task force of police agencies working on organized crime and drug interdiction, they’ve worked very hard,” said Butler County assistant prosecutor Jon Marshall, who used to work in Montgomery County and was appointed Sept. 11.
“They’ve done a very diligent, thorough investigation,” Marshall added. “That investigation is not complete. It is ongoing. However, these indictments against these individuals reflect that investigation.”
Melanie Betz, Thomas’ wife, had her picture released by the task force in May in conjunction with the raids but she was not included in this indictment. The pattern of corrupt activity is a first-degree felony while the marijuana counts all are second-degree felonies and the money laundering count is a felony of the third degree.
Marshall said the suspected marijuana was tested by Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation’s crime lab.
Thomas Betz has had other legal issues, declaring bankruptcy in 2002 when he owed debts to at least three casinos, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court records.
Betz filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Oct. 31, 2002 and had liabilities of $45,672, according to records. Creditors holding claims against Betz were Belterra Casino for $10,500, Indiana Gaming Co. LPA for $6,272, Grand Victoria Casino for $6,000 and Argosy Casino for $6,000.
Betz also owed money to MBNA Bank, Key Bank, Provident Bank and $1,100 in parking violations at Wright State University. The bankruptcy case was discharged March 17, 2003.
In September 2016, Dorley had a certificate of judgment issued against him for owing Discover Card $7,704.24.