By Susan Bromley
A local business owner was back in court April 18, with a 20-year felony drug charge against him reduced to a 4-year felony.
Zaky Mohammad Elkour, 25, now faces an amended charge of possession of a controlled substance, reduced from a count of possession with intent to deliver cocaine less than 50 grams, a 20-year felony. A second charge of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony remains unchanged.
“It was a partial victory for him,” said Dean Eldon, an attorney representing Elkour. “The police made a lot of comments about him being a drug dealer and after what happened today, that is not the case.”
According to Oakland County Sheriff’s Office reports, the case involving Elkour, who owns a landscaping business, began at 10:47 p.m., Jan. 9, when a Brandon deputy traveling through the Bueche’s Plaza parking lot at the corner of M-15 and Oakwood Road observed a truck parked in the fire lane next to the door of Bueche’s, a 24-hour grocery store. The truck was running, with headlights on and a plow on the front was lowered to the ground. Upon running the plate, the deputy found the vehicle registered to Elkour, who had a misdemeanor warrant out of Lake Orion.
Elkour was handcuffed and searched, during which the deputy found a wad of organized cash in his front pocket, later determined to be a total of $665, along with a rolled up $20 bill, which the deputy knew from training and experience is often used to snort narcotics.
During a search of Elkour’s vehicle, the deputies found a hard sunglass case in the center console, inside of which they found four small plastic coin envelopes, each with a white, hard rocky substance inside, which field tested for cocaine. In total, the envelopes and their contents weighed 7.1 grams. They also found another empty plastic coin envelope. In the driver’s side door was an open pint of Fireball cinnamon whiskey. Under the steering column of the truck was a holder attached to the dash. Inside was a 9mm handgun.
Elkour was transported to the Oakland County Jail, where he told the deputy he last used cocaine over the weekend.
A search warrant was obtained for Elkour’s township residence and items found included 1.2 grams of cocaine with packaging, two baggies located in a can on a bedroom shelf, one of which had cocaine residue, four baggies with drug ledger/tally sheets in an entryway cabinet, one of which also contained cocaine residue, boxes of ammunition for 9 mm and .35 caliber guns, and a false bottom can. All of these items were seized.
“At the time of the arrest, there was not only illegal narcotics, but also evidence located inside that vehicle that is very commonly used in the delivery of illegal narcotics,” said OCSO Lt. Greg Glover, Brandon substation commander, on Wednesday. “However, we were not able to prove that he was intending to deliver narcotics that time. This was an agreement by the prosecutor’s office to amend the charge of possession of cocaine, because we could not testify to the fact of the delivery charge. We are fully aware of what Mr. Elkour is about and what he does. This is not a coincidence that he was arrested for possession of cocaine.”
The case against Elkour has been bound over to Oakland County 6th Circuit Court. The next court date has not been set.