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September 25, 2013

Prosecutor highlights drug cases

TRAVERSE CITY — Two drug cases ended in lengthy prison terms that the Grand Traverse County prosecutor said should be seen as warnings to drug dealers.

Thirteenth Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power on Friday sentenced Jared Allan Blaha, 35, of Traverse City, to a 4.25- to 20-year prison term for his involvement in a methamphetamine lab found in the Shadowland Motel on Munson Avenue.

That same day Power also handed down a sentence that ensures DeAndre Marcus Jones, 21, of Detroit, won’t be eligible for parole for 47 months. Authorities found crack cocaine and a handgun in Jones’ car during a traffic stop on South Airport Road in June.

“We were satisfied with the sentences,” said Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney. “We felt they were appropriate given the circumstances.”

Blaha was convicted on charges of operating a methamphetamine lab, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house following a three-day jury trial. Two of his co-defendants arrested in the Dec. 4 drug bust were convicted of possession of methamphetamine during another trial and later testified against him.

Blaha is originally from the Charlevoix area and Jones is from downstate.

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