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Four enter not guilty pleas in meth lab case

April 9, 2013
The Daily News

By LISA M. REED

Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN - Four suspects charged after a portable methamphetamine laboratory was discovered at a rental property in Kingsford have entered not guilty pleas.

Dickinson County Circuit Court Judge Richard Celello accepted the not guilty pleas and set pre-trial conferences for April 29 at 10 a.m. for Samantha Matson, 22, of Vulcan; Nicole Strutz, 30, of Iron Mountain; Jennifer Lacosse, 26, of Norway; and Steven Spencer, 57, of Iron Mountain.

Matson, being represented by attorney Dan Anderson of Iron Mountain, is charged with operating/maintaining a laboratory involving methamphetamine and delivery/manufacture of methamphetamine/ecstasy.

Strutz is charged with operating/maintaining a laboratory involving methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit controlled substance delivery/manufacture of methamphetamine/ecstasy and habitual offender, fourth offense notice.

She is being represented by attorney Michael Scholke of Iron Mountain, who filed a waiver of arraignment on his client's behalf.

Lacosse is charged with operating/maintaining a laboratory involving methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit controlled substance delivery/manufacture of methamphetamine/ecstasy and delivery/manufacture of methamphetamine/ecstasy. She is being represented by attorney Dan Jaspen of Iron Mountain for those charges.

Lacosse also faces charges of failure to pay child support and habitual offender, second offense notice.

Attorney Kalen Lipe of Iron Mountain is representing her on those charges.

Lipe is also representing Steven Spencer, who is charged with operating/maintaining a laboratory involving methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit controlled substance delivery/manufacture of methamphetamine/ecstasy and habitual offender, second offense notice.

Acting on a tip, authorities executed a search of a rental home at 501 Sterling St.

According to the felony complaints, police searched the residence between March 9-13.

Upon entering the residence, officers immediately smelled a strong odor and observed smoke within the residence.

Police later discovered a portable methamphetamine lab in the bathroom along with what is believed to be finished methamphetamine. Under questioning, defendants admitted purchasing several of the components used in the manufacturing process, authorities said.

According to the felony complaints, Lacosse and Strutz admitted to making two "batches" of meth at the residence and were assisting each other when police arrived.

The complaint notes Lacosse and Strutz had Sudafed tablets and lithium batteries (both are known components in the manufacturing process) on them at the time of their arrest.

The felony complaint notes Lacosse had provided Spencer with a shopping list and acknowledged she would use the components to make meth.

Strutz admitted purchasing Sudafed, and also provided the use of her vehicle to obtain other components.

All the charges are felony offenses punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The four individuals remain lodged at the Dickinson County Correctional Center.

Lisa M. Reed's e-mail address is lreed@ironmountaindailynews.com.

 
 

 

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