Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

August 16, 2013

Alcohol test service owner charged with crimes

TRAVERSE CITY — The owner of a company that provided alcohol and drug testing services for 86th District Court faces felony charges after he falsified test reports and provided them to the court, authorities said.

Ryan Matthew Gubbins, 30, of Lake Ann, is charged with felony obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice. A warrant was authorized on Aug. 7 but he had not been arrested by Thursday afternoon.

Gubbins' company, Tri-County Monitoring Services, was one of two companies that since 2011 provided alcohol and drug testing for individuals on bond or probation through 86th District Court. The district court covers Grand Traverse, Antrim and Leelanau counties.

Gubbins' relationship with the court ended in May and officials didn't provide an explanation until now. He's accused of falsifying records to indicate a woman on probation completed daily urine and Breathalyzer tests; authorities said the woman admitted she skipped the tests because she continued to use drugs and alcohol and knew she'd fail the tests.

"Obviously, the bad part is that if it's true, then the court is being provided false information and that's why the obstruction of justice charge," said Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney.

Traverse City lawyer Jesse Williams, who represents clients in alcohol and drug-related cases, said he found it problematic when the county dropped Tri-County "overnight" with no explanation. He said allegations against Gubbins, if true, are troubling for people who relied on test accuracy.

"It's a scary situation that other people rely on that for their jobs and civil liberties," he said.

Court documents state the woman told investigators she began to miss required drug and alcohol tests in October 2012. At the time Gubbins told her "we'll figure it out," police reports show.

“She stated that she was drinking and smoking marijuana while on probation and there were times when she would call Ryan and tell him that she wasn't able to make it in for testing because she was drunk or had smoked pot," the document states. "She stated that she knew that she would fail these tests if she did go in, but Ryan still covered for her ... She advised that at some point she would just stop calling (altogether) and figured that everything was being covered Ryan.”

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