By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
---- — CLINTON — Five people connected to recent area methamphetamine labs were in district court Thursday morning.
District Court Judge Mark Cleve sentenced four and accepted the plea of one individual involved in the manufacture of meth. He granted deferred judgements and three years probation to three of the defendants.
Tonya M. Palmer, 33, pleaded guilty on Sept. 26 to conspiracy to manufacture meth, in connection with a May 17 meth bust at 620 Third Ave., Camanche. According to court documents, Palmer purchased pseuoephedrine more than 25 time, providing more than 70 grams of the drug to Nathan T. Green and Kimberly A. Lane.
Assistant County Attorney Amanda Meyers told Cleve that she would allow a deferred judgement at his discrestion. She told the court that Palmer has no previous felony convictions and has children she has been parenting well.
"I think she is an asset to the community if she can address her substance abuse," Meyers said.
Palmer's attorney, Barbara Maness, asked for a deferred judgement so her client could avoid having a felony on her record. She pointed out that the defendant has maintained a stable residence for seven years and is taking care of her children. She added that Palmer has already began taking substance abuse and mental health treatments.
"Ms. Palmer has taken this seriously," Maness said.
Seth Green was arrested May in connection with the same case as Palmer, pleading guilty on Aug. 22 to conspiracy to manufacture meth and possession of meth precursors with intent to manufacture. His attorney, David Treimer, pointed out Thursday how rare it is to find a 40-year-old with no criminal history, adding that this shows how addictive and life-altering this drug can be at any age.
"It's not teenagers that are using meth," Treimer.
Treimer said his client has no outstanding debt and goes to work every day. Green told Cleve that recent personal issues led to him using methamphetamine, but he hopes to get his life back on track.
Defense Attorney Bob McGee told the court that his client, Kyle Humlick, 23, is a classic case of the tragedy substance abuse can have on a person's life.
"Drugs will consume you if you aren't of a mind to deal with it," McGee said.
Humlick was arrested in early May and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine on Oct. 3. He told the court that he is sorry for what he did and put his family through, adding that appreciates a chance to prove himself.
"I have a little boy at home who needs his dad," Humlick said. "I just want to have a normal life."
Palmer and Humlick were ordered to pay a $1,000 civil penalty and Green was ordered to pay a $1,000 and a $750 penalty. Cleve ordered them all to receive substance abuse and mental health evaluations and treatments, warning them that if they do not follow these requirements, they could face jail time.
Benjamin R. Ross was also sentenced Thursday, for conspiracy to manufacture meth. Cleve ordered him to serve as much as 10 years in prison, based on recommendations from the pre-sentencing investigation and Meyers.
Meyers explained Thursday that this is Ross' second drug conviction. In 2011 he was given treatment and sent to the Residential Correctional Facility.
"And here we are, just a short time later involved in drug activity again," Meyers said.
According to court documents, Ross was arrested after Clinton and Camanche police conducted a follow-up investigation on a forgery case at 3124 Lincoln Way. Contents from a one-pot methamphetamine laboratory was found in the home, in which Ross resided.
Based on his previous conviction, Ross will be required to serve at least one third of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
A Clinton woman pleaded guilty to aiding and abbetting the conspiracy to manufacture meth, possession of meth precursors and child endangerment. Daffiney Devries, 33, admitted in court Thursday that between March 1 and June 4, she allowed her ex-husband, Jason Devries to manufacture meth in the home in which her 4-year-old child resided. She also admitted to possessing pseudoephedrine for the purpose of manufacturing meth.
Devries could be heard sniffling in the court room as Cleve explained that the conspiracy charge– a class C felony– could carry as much as 10 years in prison. Each of the other two charges could carry as much as five years.Jason Devries was sentenced on Oct. 24 to up to 10 years in prison.
Her sentencing is set for 10 a.m. on Dec. 15.