2nd Man Sentenced In Peshtigo Drug Bust
Gary Lee Rietz, 46, 181 Chicago Court #307, Peshtigo, was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison, and five years of extended supervision plus a fine of $518 on a felony charge of possession with intent to deliver less than three grams of heroin as party to a crime. Marinette County Circuit Court Judge James Morrison gave the maximum sentence allowed and ordered Rietz to make child support payments, have no contact with three other co-defendants and cooperate with the district attorney. Dismissed but read into the record was a felony charge of maintaining a drug trafficking place.
Rietz was one of four men involved in a Peshtigo drug investigation and arrested in his apartment on Sept. 26. He provided testimony against two other defendants with whom he was arrested. In exchange for that testimony, the state and the defense had reached a joint recommendation agreement which would have reduced the sentence to four years in prison and four years extended supervision.
Defense Attorney Michael Scholke said he believed the joint recommendation would allow sufficient time for Rietz to rehabilitate and take advantage of various programs in prison. Scholke further said that his client realizes he was being given a second chance.
Rietz also read from a prepared statement discussing the course his life has taken. He added that he felt he could stay drug-free with treatment and programs and also with the help of his Higher Power. Further he said he wants to become a Mentor and Counselor to others trapped by addiction.
Judge Morrison opted to sentence beyond the agreement, stating that as judge he needs to deal with the problems and needs of the community.
Morrison noted that when the arrest occurred, there were 39 bags of heroin at Rietz residence and that he needed to make it clear that if someone comes to Marinette County to sell heroin, the price will be awful.
Morrison thanked and saluted Rietz for his service to the country in Iraq, but added that he felt Rietz was smarter than the average drug seller since he was co-valedictorian of his high school class. But, Morrison added, your behavior has been terrible
. Short of homicide, selling heroin is the worst thing that can be done to the youth of this community.
Despite the maximum sentence, Morrison did extend Rietz a bit of a carrot on a stick. He made Rietz eligible for the Earned Release program after four years, meaning that if Rietz proves himself and lives up to his potential, he may be able to get out of prison close to the time of the original plea agreement.
Previously sentenced on Feb. 28 was Mark Russell Christophersen, 23, formerly of Menominee, Mich., to three years in prison and four years of extended supervision on a felony charge of possession with intent to deliver less than three grams of heroin as party to a crime.
Awaiting trial are two other men from Milwaukee also arrested at the apartment of Rietz. They are Davonte Tyrece Amos, 20, and Deron Terrill Critterden, 24. Both face felony charges of possession with intent to deliver between 10 to 50 grams of heroin as party to a crime, second or subsequent offense.
Amos is scheduled to have a three day jury trial starting May 21 with a pre-trial conference scheduled for May 6. His cash bond is set at $100,000.
Critterden, 24, is scheduled to have a three day jury trial starting May 21 with a pre-trial conference scheduled for April 16. His cash bond is also $100,000.
According to court records, the four were arrested as part of a drug investigation by the Northeast Tri-County Drug Enforcement Group assisted by Peshtigo Police, Marinette Police and sheriff departments from Marinette County and Menominee, Mich.
The complaint reports that at 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 26, Marinette Police received information of two black males from Milwaukee were in the Marinette area with a large amount of heroin they were selling. Security cameras at Woodland Manor in Peshtigo where Rietz resided showed two men being dropped off from a vehicle and going to the apartment of Rietz. A search warrant was obtained and executed and verified that four persons were inside the apartment. The search found $1,927 in currency, heroin, spoons with black marks, needles and a drug record book along with syringes, baggies and napkins.
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