2018-04-19 / Front Page

OD death results in two pleas

More charges on way
By Alan Campbell
Of The Enterprise staff

Two individuals accused of selling a drug that caused the death of a Suttons Bay man have pleaded guilty to lesser crimes.

However, Leelanau County Prosecutor Joseph T. Hubbell is pressing for more arrests in the prosecution of drug dealers who sold what 31-year-old Kevin D. Yanett thought was heroin.

Instead, Yanett had taken a deadly dose of pure fentanyl, which is commonly added to heroin to enhance the “high” felt by users.

“(The guilty pleas) close those cases, but open the door to future proceedings against other individuals,” Hubbell said. “There were more people who were involved and who are culpable, and that’s who I intend to proceed against.”

Preston Weaver, 22, and Erin S. Grant, 20, were originally charged with delivery of a controlled substance causing death — a life felony.

However, last Thursday both defendants pleaded guilty to lesser charges. Grant was found guilty of delivery of a schedule 2 controlled substance, a seven-year felony. Weaver pleaded guilty to the same charge plus tampering with evidence, a four-year felony whose prison sentence could run consecutively.

A substance thought to be heroin resulted in three overdoes during a two day period in Leelanau County. Included was the death of Yanett on Nov. 22.

Said county Sheriff Mike Borkovich in a previous statement to the Enterprise, “They thought they were just getting heroin. We are now digging very deeply into this, trying to figure out ... who bought it, and how did they get them out.”

Yannett is believed to be the first person to die of a recreational drug overdose in Leelanau County. The ODs served to bring opiate use to the forefront. The Leelanau County Board of Commissioners has since joined a class action civil lawsuit brought by local governments against drug manufacturers, and last month the County Board appointed a Substance Abuse Coalition.

Hubbell pledged to press on.

“We’re working on putting together a case against other individuals. We’re going to proceed when we get everything in place,” he said.

— by Alan Campbell

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