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January 2014 Archives

Mistrial for man facing series of felony drug charges

A 54-year-old criminal defendant's case remains in limbo after a recent mistrial. The defendant was facing drug charges in connection with a May 2013 incident in Michigan, during which troopers pulled the man over for driving erratically. Officers say they discovered cocaine and pills in the man's vehicle. The defendant argued that the drugs belonged to his passenger. A jury deadlocked during trial deliberations on Jan. 23. The defendant is facing several felony counts of drug possession with the intent to deliver. He is accused of possessing prescription drugs including hydromorphone, methadone and oxycodone. He also allegedly was in possession of alprazolam - better known as Xanax - and phenobarbitol, both potent prescription drugs.

Grad student charged with theft from biology department

A 25-year-old graduate student is facing multiple felony charges. The man was the subject of a nine-month investigation into the theft of equipment from the biology department at Central Michigan University, including microscopes and other expensive equipment.

Man pleads guilty to theft charges for taking motor homes

A criminal defendant in Michigan has pleaded guilty to nine felony theft charges in Grand Rapids Federal Court. The man, a native of Kentucky, was facing interstate theft charges for motor vehicles after reportedly making off with several motor homes from locations throughout Western Michigan. Further, the man was charged with three counts of interstate theft of property in relation to the contents of the motor homes. Additional charges included conspiracy to engage in interstate theft. The man could spend several decades in prison for those six charges; each of the counts also carries a potential $250,000 fine. Involvement in a related money-laundering scheme could also land the man in custody for an additional 20 years, among other penalties.

Man flees sentencing for misdemeanor charge, promptly returned

A man from the southern U.S. who decided to skip out on a sentencing hearing in Bay City, Michigan, has been returned to the jurisdiction after running afoul of his bail bondsmen. The man, a Florida resident, was accused of larceny by conversion for allegedly stealing his mother-in-law's vehicle. That misdemeanor charge would have only led to a maximum $1,000 fine and a year's worth of probation. In exchange for a no-contest plea, prosecutors agreed to drop a more severe version of the charge that could have led to a $20,000 fine.

OWI convictions may come with new BAC technology

Good news for individuals who have been convicted on drunk driving charges: Bulky, inconvenient ignition interlocks may soon be a thing of the past. New information from the Obama administration and several automakers - including those in Michigan - indicates that previous efforts to streamline the devices will continue into the coming years. The partnership, which includes Detroit's Big Three auto manufacturers, is working to create a Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety that will make life easier for those that have been convicted of a drunk driving charge. Researchers from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration are working to develop more sophisticated systems that might even be useful in every vehicle that comes off the assembly line.