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July 01, 2016  
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: (313) 234-4310

Three Co-Conspirators Sentenced for Distributing Heroin and Crack Cocaine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

JUL 01 (MARQUETTE, Mich.) – U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced today that 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. 

 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 both 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 U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 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 special agents from the DEA investigated the cases. The cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul D. Lochner and Hannah N. Bobee.

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