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Mercy, guilty plea in drug cases

News Photo by Julie Riddle Judge Ed Black presides over Alpena's 26th Circuit Court on Monday.

ALPENA — An Alpena County man who turned his life around once should have a chance to do it again, Judge Ed Black said in Alpena’s 26th Circuit Court on Monday.

Though he planned to sentence Jason Obuchowski, of Ossineke, to two years in prison for multiple drug possession charges, Black told the court he was moved to keep the defendant in county jail after an impassioned plea by defense attorney Mike Lamble.

Convicted of crimes in the past, Obuchowski moved past assaultive behavior and addiction before falling into methamphetamine use and getting caught in possession of the drug in fall of 2020, Black said as he contemplated what sentence to impose.

Alpena County Prosecutor Cynthia Muszynski said she was on Obuchowski’s side when he gave Alpena County’s drug court a try in the past, and, she said, she was still rooting for him by suggesting he go to prison for two years.

Everyone in the courtroom was in Obuchowski’s corner and wanted him to do better, but sending him to prison was going to be nothing more than a waste of time in that process, Lamble countered.

In a tearful plea for leniency, Obuchowski described hearing “I love you” from his 1-year-old child over a jail phone.

“That, right there, is enough to tell me I don’t want this anymore,” Obuchowski said. “Who would?”

Black sentenced Obuchoski to 12 months in the Alpena County Jail, with credit for 144 days served. Black promised a quick trip to prison if Obuchowski is ever arrested on drug charges again.

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Also in court on Monday, Lacey Roskey, 27, pleaded guilty to aiding in an attempted delivery of about 400 doses of methamphetamine, with a street value of about $10,000-$15,000.

Roskey was in the back seat of a car when police found 97 grams of the drug, which Roskey attempted to hide in her clothing, according to her attorney.

The driver of the car, Justin Shipp, and the other passenger, Donald Grooms, also face drug charges. The three were arrested in January as part of a string of meth-related arrests by the Huron Undercover Narcotics Team.

Roskey told the court she knew it was a significant amount but didn’t know the men planned to deliver the drug. Roskey pleaded guilty, with the understanding the prosecution will recommend no more than 24 months’ incarceration. She is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

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Joshua Carr, of Alpena, declined a plea offer of no more than 10 years’ incarceration if he pleaded guilty to planning to deliver methamphetamine after police say he was caught in the back seat of a vehicle with less than 10 grams of the drug.

Muszynski raised concerns about Carr’s request that his bond be lowered from the $200,000 cash or surety originally asked, noting that Carr had multiple previous delivery convictions and was picked up in the company of people known to deliver meth downstate.

Black reduced the bond to $75,000 cash or surety. Having rejected the chance at making a plea deal, Carr will continue toward trial.

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