By LISA M. REED
IRON MOUNTAIN - Two area women were sentenced to prison Monday for their involvement in the manufacture of methamphetamine discovered at a rental house in Kingsford in March.
Nicole Strutz appears for sentencing Monday on methamphetamine charges, represented in Dickinson County Circuit Court by attorney Mike Scholke of Iron Mountain.
Samantha Matson appears for sentencing Monday on methamphetamine charges, represented in Dickinson County Circuit Court by attorney Dan Anderson of Iron Mountain.
Attorney Mike Scholke of Iron Mountain said his client, Nicole Strutz, 30, of Iron Mountain, voluntarily gave up the rights to her daughter and realizes she needs to change or her addiction will take her life.
He said the recommended minimum sentence of 30 months in prison will help get her the help she needs.
Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Carl Downing said the sentence is appropriate.
"Meth is not like any other illegal drug. It cost her family, friends and affected these people as well and affects more family and friends," he said. "It is highly explosive and costs thousands of dollars to clean up. This is as dangerous of a drug there is out there."
He added that he hoped Strutz could get the treatment she needs in prison.
Strutz apologized at her sentencing.
"I let my addiction ruin my life," she said. "I was being selfish when I just wanted to get high."
Judge Richard Celello said, "You are playing with the most dangerous drug. It grabs ahold of you and it is dangerous emotionally, physically and mentally. I don't know what more we can do to punish, but my job is to send a message to the community that it's not going to be tolerated."
"Everyone of you folks involved with meth is going to prison," Judge Celello said. "If you use again, you will be in prison the rest of your life or dead."
Strutz was sentenced to 30 months to 30 years with credit for 142 days served for maintaining a meth lab and being an habitual offender, second offense.
Attorney Dan Anderson said his client, Samantha Matson, 22, of Vulcan, was responsible for getting substances for the manufacture of meth.
Matson apologized to the community and court for her actions. "I let druggies get the best of me. I plan to take the necessary steps," she said.
Judge Celello added that this dangerous drug will not be tolerated.
Matson received a 24-month to 20-year prison sentence with credit for 132 days served for maintaining a meth lab.
A third co-defendant, Steven Spencer, 57, of Iron Mountain is charged with maintaining a meth lab, conspiracy and habitual offender, second offense.
Because Judge Celello was not going to go with the recommended sentencing agreement, a re-sentencing or pre-trial date was set for Aug. 26 at 9 a.m.
Spencer is being represented by attorney Kalen Lipe of Iron Mountain.
The three individuals listed above were arrested after a portable meth lab was discovered at a rental home at 501 Sterling St. in Kingsford on March 11-12.
Kingsford Public Safety Department officers and the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team helped to remove hazardous materials from the rental home.
Lisa M. Reed's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.