Ten changed in U.P. – based Meth distribution ring

MARQUETTE –  A federal grand jury indicted ten people connected in an Upper-Peninsula-based conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine yesterday.

The Western District of Michigan U.S. Attorney’s Office said eight U.P. residents and two people from the Detroit area were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Some of the defendants also face charges of distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of fentanyl, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. 

Six of the defendants were arrested on Tuesday. Four of them were already in custody, according to the press release.

The defendants are:
Tyler Allen Smith, age 31, from Inkster
Jason Earl Arnold, age 27, from Detroit
Jill Elizabeth Roberts, age 34 from the L’anse Indian Reservation
John Paul Decota, Jr., age 32, from the Hannahville Indian Reservation
Elizabeth Jean Decota, age 34, from Escanaba
Clifford Keith Durant, Jr., age 29,  from the L’Anse Indian Reservation
Shanna Marie Decota, age 31, from the  L’Anse Indian Reservation
Peggy Sue Swartz, age 51, from the L’anse Indian Reservation
Allyson Marie Denomie, age 28, from the L’Anse Indian Reservation
Alexander Brandon Sagataw, age 38, from the Hannahville Indian Reservation
Five of the people charged made their initial court appearance before the U.S. Magistrate on Wednesday. The other defendants will have an initial court appearance in the near future.
Arnold and Roberts face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison. Sagataw faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years and the other defendants face maximum sentences of up to 20 years.
The Drug Enforcement Administration; Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team; the Bureau of Indian Affairs; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; FBI – Safe Trails Task Force ; Michigan State Police ; Delta County Sheriff’s Office; Hannahville Tribal Police Department ; Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Police; and Troy Police Department investigated the case.
All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.