Jail time for three who took joyride in MSP car
CRYSTAL FALLS — A former Iron County Sheriff’s Department deputy and two co-defendants were sentenced Monday in Iron County Trial Court to jail time and probation for taking a Michigan State Police squad car for a joyride earlier this year.
Anthony Juventino Silva, 26, of Crystal Falls, 25-year-old Alex Thomas Nordang of Iron River and 49-year-old Stanley George Marcell of Alpha all share the same fate — to immediately serve six days in jail, with credit for one day already served, and have 84 days in jail held in abeyance pending the successful completion of six months of probation.
Judge C. Joseph Schwedler took note of Silva’s clean record in comparison to those of Nordang and Marcell. However, the judge said he held Silva, the former deputy, to a higher standard, adding he of all people should have known not to get involved in criminal activity.
Each of the men previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor unlawful use of a motor vehicle-first offense notice as part of a plea deal with special prosecutor Autumn Gruss of Marquette County.
A trooper from the Iron Mountain Michigan State Police Post hit a deer with his squad car while patrolling March 7 and dropped off the vehicle at Northland Automotive and Powersports in Iron River for repairs the next day, according to an MSP incident report.
Several people, including Silva, Nordang and Marcell, were at Northland the evening of March 8, with one witness telling investigators it’s common for people to work on their vehicles, visit and drink alcohol after hours, the report states.
Silva told investigators Nordang, a Northland employee, took the state police squad car for a quick, work-related drive. That’s when Silva, then employed by the Iron County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy, got the idea to “play a joke” on the trooper and take the vehicle for a ride,
Silva drove the squad car “fast” from Northland on West Genesee Street to the intersection of West Franklin Street and Homer Road and back — a distance of about 2 miles, according to the report.
Nordang was in the front passenger seat with a beer, and Marcell was in the back seat, Silva told investigators. Silva admitted he had three to four beers in a two-hour span before the incident.
The only damage to the squad car appeared to be a yellow paint mark on the front passenger side bumper from the yellow hoist arms at Northland, according to the report. MSP won’t seek restitution, Gruss said in court.
Investigators determined the vehicle had two extra miles on the odometer not previously accounted for.
Marcell later went to the MSP post and attempted to take blame for the incident so Silva wouldn’t get in trouble, the report states. Silva said he never asked Marcell to lie to police, according to the report.
Silva resigned from the sheriff’s department in April.