Clare drug bust nets two, one gets five-year sentence

March 24, 2012

A Clare man arrested in November for operating a meth lab in a Clare apartment was sentenced to 16 months to five years by Circuit Court Judge Thomas Evans Monday. His girlfriend awaits sentencing for the same charges.

According to a website report by Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis, Shannon Kelly Church 39, pled guilty February 21 to “Attempt to Operate/Maintain a Lab involving Hazardous Waste,” a five-year felony, and “Maintaining a Drug House,” a two-year felony. Both sentences will run concurrently, with credit for 46 days already served.

Church was also ordered to pay $1,694.92 in restitution to BAYANET for hazardous waste cleanup, $136 in State Costs, $130 in Crime Victim’s Restitution and $1,500 in fines, costs and court appointed attorney fees.

Church’s November 14 arrest followed an investigation by Sgt. Brian Gregory of the Clare Police Department, Ambrozaitis wrote. It began November 11 when his landlord expressed concerns to City Police over “smelling chemicals coming from Church’s apartment” and with “hearing from the local hardware store that Church was buying items related to cooking meth.”

Gregory confirmed that Church and his girlfriend and co-defendant, Bridget Fifield, 30, had been cooking meth in the apartment, Ambrozaitis said.

“At the time of the arrest, there was not an active meth cook, but the defendants were in possession of the components to make meth and the hazardous waste from previous cooks.” Ambrozaitis added, “BAYANET [Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team] assisted in the investigation.”

Church was originally charged with Operating/Maintaining a Lab Involving Hazardous Waste, Operating/Maintaining a Lab near Specified Places and Maintaining a Drug House. All but the first and last charge were dismissed when Church pled guilty.

Fifield pled guilty Monday to the same charges as Church and will be sentenced May 7 at 9 a.m. Ambrozaitis said she will probably be sentenced to time in jail, rather than prison because of state guidelines. “She doesn’t have the criminal record that Church does,” Ambrozaitis said.

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