Drunk Driver and Drug Dealer Get Prison Terms

This afternoon in the 33rd Circuit Court, Jeffrey Thomas Rust, 60, Kalamazoo was sentenced to 24 to 60 months in prison for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, third offense.

On May 24, 2019, Rust was driving at approximately 3:00 a.m. on US 31 in Hayes Township and crossed the fogline. Michigan State Police stopped his vehicle, administered field sobriety tests and discovered Rust had a blood alcohol level of .102, according to a police affidavit filed in the case.

Though the conviction was actually Rust’s sixth conviction for drinking and driving, the third offense notice in this case is the highest notice provided in Michigan law.

The maximum penalty for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, third offense is five years in prison.

“This was a sentence where the court correctly focused on protection of the public,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “A person who has been convicted of drunk driving five times before has shown they cannot be trusted not to drink and drive. The only way to keep the public safe, unfortunately, is to lock them up.”

Also this afternoon, Judge Roy C. Hayes III sentenced Kyle Spencer Rusch, 24, Cadillac, to 51 to 240 months in prison. Rusch was convicted of selling nine grams of methamphetamine to a confidential informant in East Jordan on April 26, 2019.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Rusch drove from Cadillac to East Jordan where he sold $450 worth of methamphetamine. Police searched the vehicle Rusch was in and seized an additional 19.2 grams of methamphetamine.

“With respect to the drug case, I commend the work of Sheriff Chuck Vondra and the Joint Operative Law Enforcement Team (“JOLT”),” Telgenhof said. “They have been instrumental in helping keep these dangerous drugs out of Charlevoix County. This defendant had been buying meth from the Grand Rapids area and bringing it up into our county.”

Telgenhof continued, “We are very fortunate to have our own drug team. Not many other counties our size, if any, are able to utilize this type of resource.”

About Allen Telgenhof

Allen Telgenhof is the Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney; he has been an attorney since 1989 and a high school baseball coach since 2005. Graduated from Clio High School, Michigan State University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Proud father of Ty, Ally, Will and Luke and husband to Erin.
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