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Michigan "The Voice" finalist sentenced on drug charge

Musician Laith Al-Saadi appears in an Otsego County courtroom to hear his sentencing after marijuana was found in his vehicle during a traffic stop in February 2017. (Brittney Buti)

OTSEGO COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- A well-known Michigan musician who was a finalist on NBC's "The Voice" has been sentenced to 12 months probations.

Laith Al-Saadi pleaded no contest last month to one count of possession of a controlled substance.

With the plea deal, two other drug charges were dropped.

The charges stem from a traffic stop in February 2017 when Al-Saadi was pulled over by Michigan State Police for an expired license plate.

According to the trooper, there was a strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The prosecutor said the troopers then searched the vehicle and found a backpack that contained marijuana, as well as other drugs including hydrocodone.

“I fully recognize that it was stupid, and I have attempted to use this to better my life in the best way possible,” said Laith Al-Saadi at sentencing.

Honorable George J. Mertz of the 46th Circuit Court said he took multiple things into consideration during sentencing, including the fact that Al-Saadi is 41 years old and does not have a criminal record.

“My point is that I don’t think that you are using these things recreationally, and that makes a difference to me in sentencing," said Judge Mertz. "You do have a very successful career and from what I’ve read you’ve used that in ways to help the community which I think is important, and I think it's important you continue to be able to do that."

Although the case has had an impact on Al-Saadi's career, his attorney says they are satisfied with the sentencing.

“This a situation where he [Al-Saadi] had a previous prescription for the narcotic that he was found with, and it had lapsed, as that sometimes happens," said Attorney Michael Komorn. "Also, I think it's important that the court recognized that he is under a doctor's care, and most remarkable I think is that the court agreed with us that he does not have a controlled substance problem.”

While on probation Al-Saadi will be allowed to travel in and out of the state, as well as the country, if it is for work purposes.

His next performance in northern Michigan is a charity concert to support mental health.

It's called 'Cure for the Winter Blues' and will be held at the Traverse City Opera House on February 15th at 7:30 p.m.


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