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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 10, 2022

Lansing Area Methamphetamine Traffickers Sentenced

Joseph and Lisa Burgess, the last of seven defendants, will each spend hundreds of months behind bars and forfeited their house as well as over $20K in seized cash.

          LANSING, MI – United States Attorney Andrew Birge announced that Joseph and Lisa Burgess of Dewitt, Michigan were sentenced today for their role in a conspiracy to distribute crystal methamphetamine.  They were the last of the seven defendants charged in the conspiracy to receive their sentences.

          The Hon. Hala Jarbou, the U.S. District Court Judge in Lansing, sentenced Lisa Burgess, age 48, to 235 months in prison (over 19 years) for conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Joseph Burgess, also known as “Diamond,” age 50, was sentenced to 352 months in prison (over 29 years) for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. Each defendant will have to pay fines and special assessments and will spend three years on supervised release when released from the Bureau of Prisons. Their house and over $20,000 in cash were also forfeited.

          In January 2020, law enforcement officers from the Michigan State Police Department’s Tri-County Metro Narcotics Team and the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at the Burgess residence and seized over three pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 15 handguns, 33 long guns, over $20,000, and drug trafficking paraphernalia (rubber gloves, digital scales, and baggies). The investigation showed that Joseph and Lisa Burgess and their codefendants trafficked crystal meth in the Lansing area and the Upper Peninsula.

          “Crystal methamphetamine continues to have a devastating impact in our communities in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge. “My office treats drug trafficking very seriously, particularly when the danger is increased by offenders possessing firearms.”

          “These seven individuals were part of a drug trafficking organization that pushed poisonous methamphetamine into mid-Michigan and the upper peninsula in exchange for money,” added Acting Special Agent in Charge Kent Kleinschmidt of the DEA Detroit Field Division.  “DEA, and our law enforcement partners, will employ every resource at our disposal to bring drug pushers to justice and stop the flow of illegal drugs into our communities.”

          “Tri-County Metro Narcotics appreciates the collaborative efforts of our local and federal partners,” said Michigan State Police Tri-County Metro Narcotics Team Commander Detective Lieutenant Bill Eberhart. “This investigation and subsequent sentencing demonstrates our continuing commitment to pursue drug dealers who are inflicting harm upon the communities and citizens we serve.  Tri-County Metro Narcotics will continue to work vigorously to disrupt and dismantle those illicit organizations and endeavor to keep our citizens and communities safe.”

          The Burgesses were the last members of the conspiracy to be sentenced. The other defendants received the following sentences:

  • Garylee Dexter, a/k/a “Flip”—108 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine;
  • Ryan Timko—172 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine;
  • Jeremy Brusso—132 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine;
  • Nicholas Cornish—120 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine; and
  • Kendra Stidolph—45 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

          The Michigan State Police Tri-County Metro Narcotics Team and Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexis Sanford, Ted Greeley, and Erin Lane prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated February 11, 2022