Betz, Dorley plead not guilty in marijuana growing case


Thomas Betz and Michael Dorley pleaded not guilty Tuesday to marijuana growing-related charges and their bonds were set at $100,000 cash/surety.

Betz, 38 — the son of recently retired crime lab director Ken Betz — and Dorley, 40, both face charges of cultivation, possession and trafficking of more than 20,000 grams (44 pounds) of marijuana and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, according to an indictment.

RELATED: Ex-crime lab director’s son indicted on drug, other charges

Betz also faces one count of money laundering in the indictment that covers activity from January 2012 until May 15, 2017.

Betz’s attorney, James Ambrose, questioned special prosecutor Jon Marshall’s request for a $500,000 cash bond.

RELATED: County official’s son, two others suspects in local drug raids

“Frankly, I thought this was a drug cultivation case, nothing to do with piracy or treason,” Ambrose said. “So I’m kind of at a loss why (the bond request is) so much.”

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Langer also said Betz and Dorley would be subject to electronic monitoring. Betz appeared via video while Dorley surrendered to law enforcement and was taken into custody to be booked into jail.

PHOTOS: Task force releases pictures of marijuana grow operation

Both have a scheduling conference on Nov. 21 in front of Judge Erik Blaine.

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.

RELATED: Betz once claimed bankruptcy, cited gambling debts

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.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Mark Gokavi on Twitter or Facebook

Melanie Betz, Thomas’ wife, had her picture released by the task force in May in conjunction with the raids. 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.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

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.

Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Greg Flannagan said a special prosecutor was appointed to avoid a potential appearance of conflict of interest.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE MOBILE APPS FOR LATEST BREAKING NEWS



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Dayton fast food workers threatened with knife
Dayton fast food workers threatened with knife

Police here are investigating after a man with a knife threatened Burger King workers.  The incident happened at the Burger King, 1401 N. Keowee Street, around 8:50 p.m. Saturday.  Dayton police are investigating the aggravated menacing complaint after workers said a man in the drive-through window was waving a knife and yelling about chicken...
Panhandler gets 20 cents, followed by court summons from police
Panhandler gets 20 cents, followed by court summons from police

Police here issued a summons to appear in court for a panhandling offense.  The Dayton police report states a 62-year-old man stepped off a curb and into the roadway to accept 20 cents from a vehicle around 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the 600 block of South Jefferson Street near U.S. 35 East. He was issued a summons to appear for a charge of distribution...
Forum: Solutions to Ohio opioid crisis should be ‘self-sustaining, repeatable’
Forum: Solutions to Ohio opioid crisis should be ‘self-sustaining, repeatable’

Dozens of people who are personally impacted by the opioid crisis gathered Sunday in Wilmington to discuss the issue in a unique forum hosted by Your Voice Ohio.  The conversation inside the municipal building on North South Street involved medical professionals, first-responders, parents who have lost children to opioid addiction and recovering...
Fairfield City Councilwoman leads the Butler-Warren Board of Realtors
Fairfield City Councilwoman leads the Butler-Warren Board of Realtors

For the second time in her long realtor career, Debbie Pennington will lead an area Board of Realtors. Last month, Pennington was named president for the Butler-Warren Board of Realtors for 2018, a year after she was the organization’s president-elect. The two-county board was founded in January 2015 after it merged with the Middletown, Warren...
Harrison Twp. deputy struck during traffic stop
Harrison Twp. deputy struck during traffic stop

A Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy was struck by a car fleeing a traffic stop, confirms emergency dispatchers.  The deputy’s right foot was run over in the 400 block of Shoup Mill Road, during a traffic stop at SVG Motors. The vehicle is reportedly a white GMC Yukon that fled the scene in the area of Foxton Court and Needmore...
More Stories