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Local News

Barry County deputies handle possible drugs, stolen vehicles, handguns and drones

Barry County Undersheriff Matt Houchlei reported on some recent incidents handled by deputies.

When Barry County Sheriff’s Deputy T.J. Heald saw a traffic violation by a motorcyclist Wednesday, he pulled in behind the man in the parking lot of the convenience store at the corner of M-79 and Charlton Park Road, south of Hastings, Houchlei said.

 Before Heald could talk to him, the man fled, throwing something from of his pocket while running. After a short chase, Heald apprehended the man. The substance, sent to a lab for testing, is believed to be methamphetamine.

 

The Grand Ledge Police Department had asked the sheriff’s office to be on the lookout for a man riding a stolen motorcycle and likely in possession of meth. The man faces preliminary charges of resisting arrest, methamphetamine possession and in possession of a stolen motorcycle. The case has been sent to the Barry County Prosecutor’s Office, Houchlei said.

 

In the second incident, Deputies Joel Funk and Kevin Erb responded to a citizen’s call of a reckless driver in the M-43/Cook Road area on June 21, according to a Houchlei.

 A traffic stop of the vehicle with four individuals was initiated by Funk.  The driver was Steven Cooper, 63, from Kalamazoo.  Two of the vehicle’s rear seat occupants were identified as Deandre Hayes Jr., 22, and Hartlee Lewis, 22, both from Kalamazoo. Both were arrested for outstanding warrants. During a search of the vehicle, a Beretta 9mm handgun was found in the storage pocket behind the front passenger seat. A small amount of marijuana was also found in the car. The report has also been sent to the prosecutor’s office for review.

 

Houchlei also clarified that  a reported drone near the scene of a June 24  accident was in reality a one-passenger gyro, typically seen around the City of Hastings Barry County Airport.  Houchlei said the Federal Aviation Administration has identified the pilot of the gyro and is now in charge of the case.

 

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