Man arrested for solicitation to commit murder

SAULT STE. MARIE — A Newberry man is in jail on a charge of solicitation to commit murder.

Michigan State Police from the Sault Ste. Marie Post say Jason Bufford, 37, was arrested around noon on Monday after a lengthy investigation. The Michigan Department of Corrections confirms that Bufford is an employee at the Newberry Correctional Facility.

“We are proud of the efforts of our inspector at the Newberry Correctional Facility, whose initial investigatory work led to the action that was announced earlier today by the State Police,” said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz.

“The information was initially given to the inspector, who then contacted our detective bureau, and we went forward from there in conjunction with the Department of Corrections,” said First Lieutenant David Hopper of the Michigan State Police Sault Ste. Marie Post.

Gautz said Bufford was suspended last month. That suspension, which is now unpaid, will continue throughout the legal process.

The Luce County Prosecutor issued the warrant for Bufford’s arrest. He was originally held at the Luce County Jail, but the Luce County Sheriff’s Department says he’s been transferred to the Chippewa County Jail.

Bufford’s bond was set at $500,000 at his arraignment in 92nd District Court. Solicitation to commit murder carries a penalty of up to life in prison if convicted.