MARQUETTE — An Indiana man arrested after a drug investigation earlier this year left Marquette County Circuit Court Friday morning with a lighter sentence than originally anticipated.
A challenge to sentencing guideline scoring helped 33–year–old Maurice Gray of South Bend, Indiana avoid prison time. Gray was given twelve months in the Marquette County Jail and five years probation on the charge of delivery of less than fifty grams of heroin, a charge to which he pleaded guilty in October.
Gray’s attorney, Robert Juidici, raised the challenge to the scoring of 50 points for Offense Variable 15, arguing that there was no evidence to support that Gray had in fact brought the drug into the county from across state lines. After taking a short break to consider data presented in a supplemental police report, the judge ruled on the challenge.
“The court does not find that there’s a preponderance of evidence to support the conclusion that the drugs at issue here were actually brought from another state,” said Judge Jennifer Mazzuchi.
“He was coming here to sell heroin, plain and simple,” said Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese. “Whether he brought it over the border or whether he got it here — which I don’t believe for a minute he did, but that’s my suspicion — he’s distributing a major controlled substance in our community. He has earned the right to be returned to a prison cell, your honor.”
The sentence was delivered in accordance with adjusted sentencing guidelines, which became advisory after a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling.