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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 1, 2016

Houghton And Escanaba Area Heroin And Crack Cocaine Conspirators Sentenced

          MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN — Damon Ramone Belcher, 43, of Detroit, Michigan, Corrie Venta Ruth, 36, of Flint, Michigan, and Stephanie Rae Hatch, 41, of Lake Linden, Michigan, were sentenced to prison by U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar for their roles in conspiring to distribute heroin and crack cocaine in the Houghton, Michigan area, U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced today. Belcher was sentenced to 46 months in prison; Ruth was sentenced to 41 months in prison; and Hatch was sentenced to 33 months in prison. In addition to their prison terms, all three defendants were ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon the completion of their incarceration and to pay a $100 special assessment.

          Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar sentenced Isaac Scott Cooley, 31, of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Jaclyn Patricia Snouwaert, 29, of Escanaba, Michigan, and Donny Thomas Leffler, 25, of Escanaba, Michigan to prison for their roles in conspiring to distribute heroin and crack cocaine in the Escanaba, Michigan area. Cooley was sentenced to 120 months in prison; Snouwaert and Leffler were sentenced to 33 months in prison. In addition to their prison terms, all three defendants were ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon the completion of their incarceration and to pay a $100 special assessment.

          The convictions were the result of an investigation by the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET) and the Drug Enforcement Administration into drug distribution in the Escanaba and Houghton, Michigan areas from the beginning of 2015 through November 2015. The investigation revealed that couriers and dealers from the Detroit and Flint areas brought heroin and crack cocaine up to the Upper Peninsula, where they stayed with local residents as the drugs were distributed.

           Detectives from the UPSET drug team and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the cases. The cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul D. Lochner and Hannah N. Bobee.

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Updated July 1, 2016