Srebnik, Wirgau plead guilty on weapons charge
ALPENA – Alpena men Brad Srebnik and Joshua Wirgau could serve two-year prison sentences after each pleaded guilty on Tuesday to illegally possessing firearms.
Alpena County Prosecutor Cynthia Muszynski agreed to dismiss unlawful imprisonment charges stemming from an alleged hijacking in exchange for their guilty pleas.
Judge Ed Black in Alpena’s 26th Circuit Court will sentence both men in April.
Wirgau and Srebnik admitted they each had felony records – Srebnik for selling marijuana in 2009, Wirgau for sexually assaulting a minor in 2008 – when they possessed weapons.
In Michigan, conviction for a felon in possession of a firearm leads to an automatic two-year prison sentence.
The men had faced the unlawful imprisonment charge after police said Srebnik, Wirgau, and a woman, Abby Hill, on Sept. 21 displayed guns to force a tow truck driver Wirgau knew to drive them a short distance in Alpena Township.
Separate from the hijacking case, police have connected Srebnik and Wirgau to the suspicious deaths of Hill and Alpena teen Brynn Bills, though no charges have yet been filed in the deaths.
Police found Bills’ body buried in Wirgau’s yard in September, a week after the alleged hijacking incident. Police called Wirgau a person of interest in her death.
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Police found the body of Hill in Alpena Township in October. Muszynski called Srebnik a suspect in both women’s deaths.
On Tuesday, Muszynski would not say whether she anticipates bringing charges against Srebnik or Wirgau, citing the ongoing investigation.
Two attorneys from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office appeared via videoconference at the plea hearing. Muszynski refused to explain their presence, other than to say they had filed an appearance in the case.
Wirgau remains in the Alpena County Jail and Srebnik in the Presque Isle County Jail, both on $350,000 bonds, as they await their April sentencings, at which both are required to appear in person.
Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @jriddleX.