Caspian woman sentenced in Iron County UPSET bust
By NIKKI YOUNK
CRYSTAL FALLS – Another one of the Iron County residents who were arrested as part of an Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET) drug bust was sentenced in Iron County Trial Court on Monday.
Elizabeth Clements, 28, of Caspian will spend four months in jail and two years of probation for one felony count of delivery of a controlled substance-Ritalin and one unrelated felony count of attempted buying or selling stolen non-ferrous metals.
Clements was arrested on May 21 after a search of a co-defendant’s home revealed illegal drugs and evidence of distribution.
During Clements’ sentencing hearing, her attorneys Daniel Anderson and Geoffrey Lawrence argued that she does not have much of a criminal record and that she needs rehabilitation more than punishment in this case.
“We have a 28-year-old young woman that has a lot of potential,” said Anderson. “She now recognizes that she has a substance abuse issue, and she needs counseling to address that.”
Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell noted that while Clements does not have a lengthy criminal history, she did commit several felony offenses in a short period of time.
“This is not a naive person,” she said. “This is somebody who’s been on a spree.”
Powell added that she did not believe Clements has been honest about accepting her substance abuse problem.
When given a chance to address the court, Clements said that she wants a chance to be a better person for herself and for her children.
“I’ve had a lot of time to sit and think,” she said. “I want to put my past behind me.”
Judge C. Joseph Schwedler ordered Clements to serve two months in jail on each count. The sentences will run consecutively.
After Clements’ release from jail, she will be required to enter Iron County Trial Court’s swift and sure program, which is similar to the drug court program.
One of Clements’ co-defendants, 28-year-old Michael Walsh of Iron River, was also in court on Monday.
Walsh is now scheduled for a two-day jury trial on Jan. 21 and 22 on two felony counts of delivery of heroin and three felony counts of possession of heroin. A supplemental pre-trial will precede the trial on Oct. 21.
Including Clements, four of the six UPSET bust suspects have now been sentenced. Two have been sentenced to prison, and two have been sentenced to jail.
A sixth co-defendant, 38-year-old Amy Marcell of Iron River, is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 30.
Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.