2017-06-29 / Front Page

Four admit involvement with ‘rather large’ meth lab

By Cindy Centofanti
Staff Writer • ccentofanti@mihomepaper.com

Billie Jo Angell Billie Jo Angell HURON COUNTY - Four people who were arrested after police raided a Bad Axe home and a Verona Township barn in late May admitted their guilt after accepting a plea agreement in circuit court.

Jonathan P. Boyce, 21, of Bad Axe; Michael A. Boyce, 24, of Bad Axe; Denise Eugenia Williams, 35, of Mount Pleasant; and Billie Jo Angell, 33, of Mount Pleasant; were all charged with one count of operating a meth lab.

Jonathan Boyce, however, was additionally charged with two separate counts of operating a meth lab with a minor and possession of a controlled substance meth.

Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said, at the time of the raids, that the officer in charge of the Sanilac Drug Task Force told him the operation was “rather large,” compared to what the task force usually encounters in the Upper Thumb.

As a part of a plea agreement offered by the Huron County Prosecutor’s Office, no additional charges will be filed against the four co-defendants in connection to the meth operation police busted in late May.

Jonathan Boyce Jonathan Boyce Huron County Prosecutor Timothy J. Rutkowski said the investigation began May 25 when Deputy Ryan Swartz received information from a concerned citizen about suspicious activity near a barn on Sullivan Road in Bad Axe. Swartz, actively working with Huron County Sheriff Detective Daryl Ford and Bad Axe Police Department Detective Kevin Knoblock, gleaned further information that resulted in two search warrants, executed Friday, May 26.

According to the Sanilac County Drug Task Force, which was assisting in the investigation, more than 20 grams of meth were found at the 316 Whitelam St., Bad Axe residence.

As a result, five co-defendants were arraigned Tuesday, May 30 in Huron County District Court: Ray L. Lane, 33, of Bad Axe, Michael Boyce, Jonathan Boyce, Angell and Gregory Raymond Delmarter, 33, of Mount Pleasant.

Michael Boyce Michael Boyce Williams was arraigned June 1 after an arrest warrant was executed to bring her back from Isabella County.

Angell and Williams, who were each charged with one count of operating a meth lab, originally faced a 20-year felony; however, Rutkowski said the charge was modified to a 10-year felony per the plea agreements. The women must also pay full restitution and testify truthfully against their co-defendants.

Rutkowski added that Michael A. Boyce, who was charged with a single count of operating a meth lab, still faces a 20-year felony due allegations he bought Sudafed at Walgreens Pharmacy in Bad Axe. The report also states a few hours after buying the drug in Bad Axe, he purchased more at the Caro Walmart.

Sudafed contains a key ingredient used to produce methamphetamine - pseudoephedrine, which is found in both prescription and over-the-counter products used to relieve nasal or sinus congestion. Products containing pseudoephedrine are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Act after the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2006 was signed into law, restricting the daily sales limit of ephedrine base, pseudoephedrine base, or phenylpropanolamine base to 3.6 grams per purchaser, regardless of number of transactions.

Denise Williams Denise Williams Rutkowski said the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) was used to compile the alleged involvement of Michael A. Boyce and other co-defendants involved with supplying Sudafed for the meth lab. NPLEx is an electronic logging system that tracks sales of over the counter (OTC) cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine.

Jonathan P. Boyce was the most recent to accept a plea agreement per the prosecutor’s office. He faces up to 20 years in prison, and his sentences are expected to be served concurrently.

Lane and Delmarter are awaiting arraignment in circuit court.

Jonathan P. Boyce, Michael A. Boyce and Angell will appear for sentencing Aug. 28.

Williams remains free after bonding out of Huron County jail Friday, June 23 and will appear for sentencing on Aug. 14.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the other five defendants remain lodged at the Huron County Jail.

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