Charlevoix Man Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Methamphetamine Components

Nicolas Jeffery Kerr, 33, Charlevoix, was sentenced to serve 36 to 120 months in prison today in the 33rd Circuit Court following his conviction for possession of methamphetamine, as a habitual offender, 4th.

Kerr was originally charged with owning or possessing a chemical or laboratory equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. In his plea hearing, Kerr acknowledged under oath that chemicals and equipment found in a duffle bag behind a local store in the City of Charlevoix belonged to him.

Though Kerr has served nearly a year in jail on this charge, he will receive no jail credit because he was on parole at the time of the offense due to a prior felony drug conviction.

According to a police affidavit filed in the matter, police were called to the location on March 1, 2019, and discovered a bag containing methamphetamine components including lithium batteries, a battery cutter, buprenorphine (Sudafed) and chemicals.

Police were told that the bag belonged to Kerr and in a recorded interview with police, Kerr discussed the items in the bag and how he utilized them to make methamphetamine.

“I want to thank the officers from the City of Charlevoix Police and Fire Departments as well as the Michigan State Police 7th District Clandestine Lab Response Team, who responded to the dangerous scene,” Telgenhof said. “The manufacture of methamphetamine is very dangerous and these officers defused a potentially hazardous situation.

The case was investigated by the Charlevoix City Police Department with assistance from the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office.

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Man Sentenced to Prison for Sexually Assaulting Two Children

Matthew John Dietz, 42, Alpena, was sentenced to serve 70 months to 15 years in prison on two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct, Second Degree.

Dietz had pleaded guilty to these charges as well as two counts of Accosting a Child for an Immoral Purpose on February 24, 2021.

According to a police affidavit filed in the case, Dietz kissed and groped two children, ages 9 and 10, in Hayes Township in September of 2018. When the police attempted to interview Dietz, he stole a car and fled the area.

After the FBI posted a reward for information on Dietz’s whereabouts, the Michigan State Police Fugitive Team, responding to a tip, arrested Dietz in Alpena in April of 2020.

Dietz was sentenced to sentences of 30 months to four years on the accosting charges. All of the sentences will run concurrently.

He is also required to register as a sex offender and to electronic monitoring, both for life.

“As Judge (Roy C.) Hayes said in imposing sentence, crimes against children are the most heinous,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “These brave children immediately spoke up about what the defendant had done to them. He will not only be in prison, but will be registered and monitored for the rest of his life.”

The crime was investigated by Detective Cody Wheat of the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office and was prosecuted by Charlevoix County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mary Farrell.

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Former Boyne Falls Village Clerk Sentenced

Debra Jane Taylor, 66, Boyne Falls, was sentenced to 18 months of probation preceded by two months of jail, 14 days to be served immediately following her conviction of embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000.

Judge Roy C. Hayes III handed down the sentence this morning in the 33rd Circuit Court.

Taylor had pleaded guilty to the charge on January 22, acknowledging that she had stolen $3,203.80 from the Village of Boyne Falls where she had been the longtime village clerk.

Police records showed that Taylor had failed to deposit cash payments for village water bills on 11 occasions going back to July 2014 and instead had kept the funds for herself.

The Michigan Sentencing Guidelines called for a minimum sentence of 0 to 3 months in jail and the Michigan Department of Corrections recommended no jail time, however, Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof asked the court to order incarceration.

Telgenhof said that without a jail sentence it might appear that someone can steal from the public, pay the money back and have no punishment. Both Taylor and the court noted the humiliation that had resulted from the arrest and Taylor’s criminal record now shows this criminal conviction.

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Beaver Island Man Sent to Prison for Sexual Assault

Lawrence Clair Pease III, 34, Beaver Island was sentenced to serve 18 to 40 years in prison following his conviction of Criminal Sexual Conduct, First Degree today in the 33rd Circuit Court.

Pease pleaded guilty on February 5, 2021 to sexual penetration involving a child under the age of 13.

In sentencing Pease, Judge Roy C. Hayes III noted that the sexual assault of children is one of the most heinous crimes that he sees and that it was particularly offensive in this circumstance.

The case was prosecuted by Charlevoix County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mary Farrell and was investigated by the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Child Protective Services.

“This predator will be in prison for a long time thanks to the bravery of the victim in this case, and solid work by the investigators and Ms. Farrell,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “We were very happy to have such a result without the victim having to be retraumatized by testifying at trial.”

In addition to the prison sentence, Pease will be a registered sex offender for life and have lifetime electronic monitoring.

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Charlevoix Man Pleads to Meth Charge on Eve of Trial

With a jury trial looming on Monday, Nicolas Jeffery Kerr, 33, Charlevoix, pleaded guilty this afternoon in the 33rd Circuit Court to possession of methamphetamine, as a habitual offender, 4th.

Kerr was originally charged with owning or possessing a chemical or laboratory equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. In his plea hearing, Kerr acknowledged under oath that chemicals and equipment found in a duffle bag behind a local store in the City of Charlevoix belonged to him.

According to a police affidavit filed in the matter, police were called to the location on March 1, 2019, and discovered a bag containing methamphetamine components including lithium batteries, a battery cutter, buprenorphine (Sudafed) and chemicals.

Police were told that the bag belonged to Kerr and in a recorded interview with police, Kerr discussed the items in the bag and how he utilized them to make methamphetamine.

“We had a number of jurors summoned for a trial that was to begin on Monday,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “Though these folks are not now required to appear, it is only through their willingness to sit as jurors that the defendant was willing to take responsibility for his actions.”

“I want to thank the officers from the City of Charlevoix Police and Fire Departments as well as the Michigan State Police 7th District Clandestine Lab Response Team, who responded to the dangerous scene,” Telgenhof said. “The manufacture of methamphetamine is very dangerous and these officers defused a potentially hazardous situation.

As part of the plea agreement, both Kerr and the prosecution agreed to a sentencing recommendation of 46 to 120 months in prison. Kerr’s sentencing will occur on April 23 before Judge Roy C. Hayes III.

The case was investigated by the Charlevoix City Police Department with assistance from the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office.

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East Jordan Man Gets Prison

John Joseph Sutherland, 36, East Jordan, was sentenced to 20 to 48 months in prison for assaulting, resisting and obstructing police officers.

Sutherland pleaded guilty on January 4, 2021 to two counts of resisting and obstructing and being a habitual offender, third.

The incident occurred, according to the court file, in the parking lot of the McDonald’s restaurant in Boyne City where the Michigan State Police fugitive team had lured Sutherland for arrest on outstanding warrants.

When Sutherland realized the people who he was meeting were police officers, he ran and struggled with them as they attended to place him under arrest. Officers unsuccessfully attempted to tase him but Sutherland continued to resist.

Officers finally got Sutherland to the ground but in the struggle, one of the officers’ guns came out of his waistband. Sutherland laid face down with his hands beneath him and refused to remove them. Officers were fearful that the gun was under him and after he was eventually subdued, the gun was found underneath Sutherland.

“This was a dangerous situation for police officers who were only doing their job,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said.

Sutherland had previously been convicted of three felonies and ten misdemeanors.

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Gun Thief Sentenced to Prison

Ryan Chris Bobzien, 43, Petoskey, was sentenced to serve 86 to 180 months in prison following his conviction for home invasion, second degree. The sentence was pronounced in the 33rd Circuit Court by Judge Roy C. Hayes III.

Bobzien had pleaded guilty on October 9, 2020, admitting under oath that he had gone into a residence in Boyne Valley Township while the owner and family were out of town and stole two firearms and ammunition.

Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof indicated at sentencing that Bobzien’s actions were part of a nine-month crime spree which also spread to Emmet County where Bobzien was convicted of three counts of possessing counterfeit tools, home invasion, first degree, possession of a weapon by a felon and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Bobzien was previously sentenced to serve 13 to 20 years on these charges in the 57th Circuit Court for Emmet County. His sentences will be served concurrently.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Hayes noted that one of the weapons stolen in this matter was not recovered and was traded for drugs.

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Mt. McSauba Burglar Sent to Prison

This morning in the 33rd Circuit Court, Judge Roy C. Hayes III sentenced Johnny Ray Rossman, 37, Mancelona to serve 68 to 240 months in prison.

Rossman was convicted by guilty plea on January 8, 2021 of two counts of breaking and entering with intent and one count of larceny in a building. Rossman was also sentenced as a habitual offender, fourth, which doubled his maximum potential sentence.

He was also ordered to pay $17,655 in restitution to the City of Charlevoix and $990 to AmericInn Lodge and Suites.

According to an affidavit by police filed in the case, on Monday, July 20, 2020, workers at the Mt. McSauba summer camp reported for work and noticed that someone had broken into the ski lodge. It appeared that the intruder had removed a screen and entered through a window.

An ATV, two computers, a cash register and binoculars were reported stolen. The intruder also damaged the lodge computer system and equipment.

Later that same morning, AmericInn reported that someone had broken into one of their hotel rooms and also into a laundry room where $100 to $250 was stolen.

Witnesses later led police to a location where the ATV had been crashed and stolen items were dropped, and also to discovery of the ATV itself, leading to Rossman’s arrest.

Rossman’s fingerprints were found in the ski lodge and stolen items were found in the hotel room, tying the two crime scenes together

“This was excellent police work, piecing this all together,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Sam Stewart and Alec Sheets and Detectives Ben Speigl and Cody Wheat were instrumental in solving this case. They also relied upon citizens coming forward with valuable information.”

According to court records, Rossman had previously been convicted of seven felonies and two misdemeanors.

At the sentencing, Telgenhof read from a letter written by Kent Knorr, City of Charlevoix Recreation Director where Knorr noted, “The impact of this break-in extended beyond the staff and campers to include many in the community of Charlevoix. …Camp McSauba has been an institution since its founding in 1976. It has always been a safe place for the community and children of the community.”

“Burglaries carry a thread of violation to the victims. This incident extended that sense of violation to many in the community who value the safety and traditions of Mt. McSauba. All the items that were stolen, lost and damaged are dwarfed by the feeling of violation and trespass felt by the break in.”

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Methamphetamine Dealer Sent to Prison

Coy Michelle Brooks, 46, Petoskey, was sentenced to serve 68 to 240 months in prison for delivery of methamphetamine in the 33rd Circuit Court.

Judge Roy C. Hayes III also sentenced Brooks to concurrent sentences on convictions of maintaining a drug house and possession of amphetamine. Brooks had pleaded guilty on the charges on December 21, 2020.

According to police affidavits, Brooks sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant working with the Charlevoix County Joint Operative Law Enforcement Team (JOLT) on March 25 and April 7, 2020.

She was then arrested and later released on bond. While on bond, according to court records, at a traffic stop on August 4, 2020 Brooks was illegally in possession of amphetamine and over $3,000 in cash.

“The evidence in this case indicates that the defendant was one of the largest drug dealers in northern Michigan,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “Both the police detective and the probation agent investigating the matter noted that they had not seen someone who distributed so many drugs in this community in a long time, if ever.”

In pronouncing the sentence, Hayes stated, “This drug (methamphetamine) is destructive. It destroys lives, it destroys communities.”

“Many other individuals who have either been convicted or who are awaiting trial for selling drugs told police that Ms. Brooks was their supplier. She admitted to police that she was driving down to Flint on a regular basis to buy drugs to bring back and sell in northern Michigan,” Telgenhof noted.

“This is another conviction and prison sentence brought about by the fine work of the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office and JOLT.”

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FOUR SENTENCED TO PRISON FROM CHARLEVOIX COUNTY

This morning, Jan. 22, 2021, in the 33rd Circuit Court for Charlevoix County, two individuals were sentenced to prison on drug charges, one on a number of charges including drugs, theft and fighting with police and yet another for a theft offense.

Timothy James Funck, 25, Central Lake was sentenced to serve 51 to 360 months in prison for delivery of methamphetamine.

According to a police affidavit, Funck sold methamphetamine and heroin to a confidential informant on March 12 and then sold imitation methamphetamine to the same informant on March 17.

Judge Roy C. Hayes III noted that Funck had sold the drugs after just recently being released from probation from Oakland County on a conviction for larceny in a building.

Laurel Jane-Christine Heise, 23, Charlevoix, was sentenced to 18 to 240 months in prison after being convicted of delivery of methamphetamine.

The affidavit filed in the case indicates that Heise sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant on March 26 in Charlevoix Township.

A search warrant was executed at a later date and police seized more methamphetamine, as well as other items indicative of drug trafficking and use, such as numerous cell phones, digital scales, plastic baggies, a notebook with drug information, needles, syringes, glass pipes, pills and information related to accessing the “dark web.”

One of Heise’s co-defendants, Devon Eberhart, who was also recently sentenced to prison, admitted that he, Heise and their other roommate, sold methamphetamine on a routine basis out of their Charlevoix Township home.

“The convictions of Mr. Funck and Ms. Heise were through the fine work of our Charlevoix County drug team, JOLT,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “Once again the message was sent that if you sell methamphetamine in Charlevoix County, you are highly likely to be sent to prison,”

Clifton Shantone Haines, 20, Lansing was sentenced to serve 32 to 60 months in prison following his guilty pleas to possession with the intent to deliver Xanax, unlawful driving away of an automobile, attempted malicious destruction of police property and two counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer.

Court records indicate that police were called to a location in Boyne City on June 27, 2020 where they found an individual who was unconscious and who appeared to have suffered an overdose in the back seat of a vehicle. Officers were able to revive the individual through two injections of Narcan.

Through investigation the officers discovered the vehicle had been taken downstate by Haines and another individual to purchase drugs which were brought back to Charlevoix County. The other individual has already been charged, convicted and sentenced.

Haines was placed under arrest and transported to the Charlevoix County Jail. When officers at the jail attempted to book him, Haines became combative and fought the officers, requiring five officers to be involved to subdue him.

During the fight, Haines damaged a body camera worn by one of the officers.

Judge Hayes ordered that all five felony sentences be served concurrently, however, he noted that Haines’ sentence was increased as a result of his fight with the officers.

Haines still has charges pending in Charlevoix County for delivery of heroin and delivery of cocaine, as well as charges pending in Otsego County for armed robbery and first degree home invasion, and in Eaton County for attempted resisting and obstructing of a police officer.

“On the Haines matter, this was excellent police work by the Boyne City Police Department and the Michigan State Police who responded to an emergency situation, assisted in saving a life, and then broadened the investigation which resulted in the discovery of drugs and two convictions.”

“The officers at the jail and the Boyne City Police Officers who assisted in subduing Mr. Haines should be commended for their bravery and the additional time he received in prison for his attack was well deserved,” Telgenhof commented.

David Edward Stockford, 56, Cheboygan, was sentenced to serve 18 to 60 months in prison following his conviction for unlawfully driving away of an automobile.

Stockford admitted stealing a pickup truck in the City of East Jordan on the 4th of July.

The pickup was hitched to a trailer and skid steer which were also taken by Stockford, but were abandoned and left at the Sommerset Pointe Yacht Club in Advance where they were recovered.

An employee of the truck’s owner saw the truck at the skate park in East Jordan and notified the owner who called police. When police arrived, they found Stockford hiding in the bushes at the park.

Court records indicate that Stockford had previously been convicted of eight prior felonies and 18 prior misdemeanors and had been sentenced to prison four times in the past.

The Stockford matter was investigated and solved by the East Jordan Police Department.

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