‘I picked the wrong path,’ meth dealer tells judge.
By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.
HART – A 27-year-old Morley, Michigan man pleaded guilty in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Oct. 7, to possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and now faces up to three years in prison
Walter Patrick Geistel III, 27, of 21616 1 Mile Rd., testified before Judge Robert D. Springstead that he sold meth to an undercover State, Sheriffs’ Chiefs Enforcement of Narcotics Team (SSCENT) officer last March in downtown Hesperia.
Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon said the agreement calls for a three-year cap on Geistel’s prison term, and he does not oppose Special Alternative Incarceration (SAI) or “boot camp” if he’s eligible.
“I have not made any guarantee I would not oppose it,” Springstead said of Geistel entering the SAI program. “Ultimately, it’s up to the Michigan Department of Corrections. Since Mr. Bizon has not opposed it, typically I would not oppose it. But I haven’t made up my mind yet.”
Geistel testified that he had “a little under a half ounce” of meth. “I delivered to an undercover officer.” He said that he sold 12 grams for $200.
“Where did you get the meth?” Springstead asked. “In Muskegon,” Geistel answered. “From whom?” the judge asked. “I don’t really know his name,” Geistel replied.
“You and I both know that’s not true,” Springstead said. “You don’t want to say who you got it from. I will remember that when it comes time to determine boot camp.”
“It wasn’t someone I know personally,” Geistel said, revealing a first name.
“Were you a user?” The judge asked. “Yes,” he replied. “For how long?” the judge asked. “I started a few years ago,” he answered.
“How did you get started?” Springstead queried. “I picked the wrong path,” Geistel said.
A group of juvenile offenders was in the courtroom to observe adult defendants getting sentenced as part of a diversion program. “It ain’t the road to go down,” Geistel said to the young offenders. “Look what I’m going through. It’s an addictive drug.”
Geistel said he lost a job making $50,000-$60,000 a year because of meth. “When I lost my job, I started selling.”
One charge of manufacture/distribution of an imitation controlled substance was dismissed.
Possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Sentencing is set for Dec. 2 at 9 a.m.
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