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June standoff nets federal conviction

Nov. 16, 2013 @ 12:36 AM

HUNTINGTON — A Detroit-area man arrested as part of a June standoff with police has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Deandrew Fizer III, 23, Romulus, Mich., a Detroit suburb, pleaded guilty to having been a felon in possession of a firearm. He did so without benefit of a plea agreement.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers set sentencing for Feb. 3, 2014.

The indictment stemmed from a June 7 standoff that occurred after a real estate agent found a lock box pried open. That revealed two men squatting at a residence at 134 Sycamore St. Police identified Fizer as one of those at the scene and charged him with felony burglary in state court.

The incident led to a federal indictment because Fizer had been prohibited from possessing any gun due to a 2010 assault conviction in Detroit.

Fizer’s case was among several involving pleas or sentences recently entered in Chambers’ court. Others include:

Ashland man pleads guilty to tax charge

Christopher Lee Hutchinson of Ashland pleaded guilty to willful failure to pay taxes. He agreed to enter the plea without grand jury consideration. Sentencing is set for Feb. 3, 2014.

Hutchinson signed an agreement with prosecutors stating he failed to pay more than $248,811 in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. The taxes involved 10 businesses dating back to March 1996.

Hutchinson was listed as the owner or operator of each business, according to the agreement. It further identified those businesses as Peck Security Systems Inc., CAC Enterprises Inc., R&C Enterprises of Ashland Inc., Security Group Inc., ICE Electric Company LLC, ICE Electrical Corporation, Early Warning Security Corporation, East Coast Electric & Security Corporation, East Coast Services Inc. and Now Service Pros LLC.

Pill case nets prison sentence

Herman Edison Aliff Jr., 39, received a 3-year, 6-month prison sentence. He had pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to distribute quantities of oxycodone and oxymorphone.

Aliff signed an agreement with prosecutors stating he obtained and sold pills as part of a conspiracy organized and sponsored by Vernon Lee Browning, a co-defendant and owner of a related business, “The Little Garage on the Corner” in West Huntington.

Aliff made the trips from at least early 2009 until March 2013. He would be among participants on trips to Georgia, where Browning paid for travel expenses, doctor’s appointments and prescriptions used to obtain pills later sold in Huntington.

The conspiracy charge was Aliff’s only involvement in the three-count indictment, which also named Browning and another defendant.

Guilty plea in July raid

Kristen Michelle Graley, 31, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and oxymorphone and a quantity of marijuana for remuneration. Sentencing is set for Jan. 13, 2014.

Graley signed an agreement with prosecutors stating she and an accomplice possessed 545 oxycodone pills, 73 oxymorphone pills, approximately three pounds of marijuana and $17,230 cash during a July 22 raid at her residence in the 3000 block of Rear Third Avenue in Huntington.

The agreement further links Graley to more than a kilogram of heroin, however federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss a related aiding and abetting charge in exchange for her admission to the other count.


Two admit to maintaining drug house

Keith Eric Wood, 28, and Lindsey Alyn Thacker, 29, entered separate guilty pleas to having maintained a residence for the purpose of distributing heroin. Sentencing is set Feb. 18, 2014.

Both signed agreements with prosecutors stating they were tenants at a residence in the 800 block of 11th Avenue, where they allowed co-defendant Keith Braithwaite to store heroin and others to use the drug from summer 2012 to June 20, 2013. The tenants would receive user amounts of the drug in exchange for the location’s use.

The ending date coincided with a search warrant that revealed 0.3 of a gram of heroin and more than $1,000 cash from prior drug sales, their agreements state.

Federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss a heroin conspiracy charge facing Wood and Thacker in exchange for their admissions. Braithwaite and another co-defendant still await trial.

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