One of the members of Slint Tate's drug trafficking ring was given another chance with an opportunity to take part in the Ottawa County Drug Court program.
MIAMI- One of the members of Slint Tate's drug trafficking ring, Lindsay Michelle Matteson-Trask, faced a judge in Ottawa District Court Tuesday morning.
Matteson-Trask was given another chance by District Court Judge Robert Haney with an opportunity to take part in the Ottawa County Drug Court program. She has been charged on May 19, 2016 with conspiracy to commit the crime of trafficking Meth in connection to Tate's alleged RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) drug ring.
Matteson-Trask also faced charges from Delaware County of possession of CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substance) /Meth, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and eluding/attempting to elude a police officer, obstructing an officer and petit larceny from Mar. 17, 2015 charges.
In order to qualify for the program, Matteson-Trask had to be thoroughly vetted by the Drug Court staff and to receive acceptance she has to agree to adhere to the strict and specific legal stipulations all drug court participants must agree to follow.
If Matteson-Trask were to disobey or break any of these rules her entire sentence could be imposed with penalties incurred.
Matteson-Trask and three other defendants facing charges separately in Ottawa County on Tuesday morning were accepted into the Ottawa County Drug Court program after withdrawing not guilty pleas and then entering guilty pleas for their charges and receiving a stern lecturing from Judge Haney on the seriousness of what they each face.
Matteson-Trask was represented by Miami Attorney Doug Pewitt.
Theresa Lynn Hill, 32, of Miami, represented by Miami attorney Pam Ireland, plead guilty to possession of CDS AFCF (After Former Conviction of a Felony) and possession of paraphernalia for a Nov. 25, 2015 charge.
Jared Dewayne Dixon, 33, of Miami, represented by Miami Public Defender Daniel Giraldi, plead guilty to unlawful possession of CDS/Meth with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony AFCF, felon in possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia from Oct. 27, 2016.
Kelsey Jo Mikkaye Kinslow, 25, of Miami, represented by Public Defender Attorney Daniel Giraldi, plead guilty to possession of a CDS in County Jail AFCF, obstructing an officer for an August 15, 2016 charges which violated the conditions of her probation with a new charge on Nov. 18, 2016 of Possession of CDS within 1,000 feet of a park and unlawful possession of paraphernalia, a second and subsequent offense.
Matteson-Trask, Hill, Dixon and Kinslow, all applied and were accepted to the Ottawa County Drug Court program.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer McAffrey, on behalf of the prosecution, agreed to all four Drug Court pleas entered.
Judge Haney accepted the guilty pleas and evidence to support the charges and then started a lengthy admonishment to the group of defendants.
“I want you all to listen up. We're fixing to have us a conversation... If you go into this program and you screw up – you're gone,” Haney said. “You're gone for a long time – a lot longer time than if you told your attorney you did this and faced your charges in trial.”
Haney told the defendants that taking a Drug Court plea deal is very serious and the consequences of failure in the program is the penalty of an even more extensive sentencing in the state penitentiary.
“Ottawa County Drug Court is a very good program designed to keep you out of this courtroom, but let me be honest with you right now, this is a very, very, very, very strict program,” he said.
Haney told Matteson-Trask and the others they are agreeing to some of the strictest supervision they have ever experienced. Drug Court participants are subject to random drug testing, checks at all times of the night and day, restrictions on who they can associate with, live with, and they can be required to seek employment along with other stipulations.
Haney explained if they are terminated from the program for not abiding and conforming to the rules and conditions agreed upon, or violate these terms (only two violations are allowed) they face serious consequences. He gave real them life examples of what could occur.
“We've got a Rule No. 36,” Haney explained. “What it says is, if you run-you're done! A warrant will be issued for your arrest. The old saying, ‘you can run but you can't hide,' is true.”
The judge impressed each of the defendants with the seriousness and weight of the agreement and that there are no modifications allowed by state law if drug court rules are broken, even under appellate processes.
“I don't take any excuses for running. We ain't spending another dime on you at that time. You ain't worth it at that time,” he said. “It's good deal if you make it, but it's an absolute horrible deal if you don't make it.”
Haney explained the severe repercussions of the legal agreements of Ottawa County Drug Court and gave each of the defendants an opportunity to back out one last time before finalizing his ruling.
Judge Haney told the four participants, “This program is designed to help you help yourself,” he said, before accepting their Drug Court plea agreements.
All four were remanded to the custody of the Ottawa County Jail until an open bed is located in a drug treatment facility. Matteson-Trask, Hill, Dixon and Kinslow will now each have two years to complete the drug treatment phase of the program.
Haney set Matteson-Trask, Hill, Dixon and Kinslow's return court dates for Jan. 31, 2019.
“If you don't make it I’ll see you before then. If I see you before then - you ain't going to be happy,” Haney said.