EAST TAWAS – Jeffrey Lee Stoner, Jr., 30, West Branch, has been charged with one count of controlled substance-possession of methamphetamine/ecstasy.
The felony offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or fines of $15,000. However, Stoner, Jr. may be subjected to greater penalties – as much as life in prison – under the habitual offender-fourth offense notice.
According to Iosco County Courthouse documents, Stoner, Jr. was previously convicted of three other felonies in Ogemaw County’s 34th Circuit Court: controlled substance possession in 2014, larceny of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000 in 2018 and controlled substance delivery/manufacturing in 2018.
The latest warrant for his arrest was authorized on March 24. Iosco County Courthouse staff note that, as of April 2 – when the documents for this case were obtained by this publication – Stoner, Jr. remained lodged in the Iosco County jail. His bail was set at $25,000.
Court records show that it was shortly after 8 a.m. on March 10 when Stoner, Jr. was arrested by the Iosco County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO), at the corner of Evans and Franklin streets in East Tawas, for the unlawful driving away of an automobile (UDAA).
There were two cellular telephones in the stolen vehicle, which Stoner, Jr. allegedly advised were his. A search warrant was obtained for both phones, which were then sent to the Michigan State Police (MSP) Crime Lab in Bridgeport for analysis.
The ICSO received a call on March 19 from an MSP criminal analyst, who alleged that when he removed the battery cover to one of the phones, he located what he believed to be a baggy of methamphetamine.
A substance analysis was conducted the next day and, on March 23, the laboratory report from the MSP allegedly positively identified the substance in the baggy as methamphetamine, a schedule 2 controlled substance.
The ICSO case report for the incident reads that, on the morning of March 10, Iosco County Central Dispatch advised that a resident near Evans and Franklin streets reported a suspicious vehicle on their property, with a male subject inside. A UDAA was also reported earlier that morning from a few blocks away, with a truck matching the same description.
An MSP sergeant and an ICSO deputy responded to the area and located the vehicle, with Stoner, Jr. inside. When they asked who the vehicle belonged to, he allegedly answered that it was his sister’s.
Central dispatch, however, reported that the registration came back to the subject who had reported the UDAA, an East Tawas resident who lives nearby to where the vehicle was located.
Authorities met with the victim at his home, and he stated that he last saw his truck the night prior, when he locked it from his house.
The man noted that there was another set of keys in the center console. He said there was a sweatshirt next to where his truck was parked, and there was broken glass which police say was consistent with that from one of the vehicle’s windows.
When speaking with police, Stoner, Jr. allegedly said his sister and her husband picked him up in the truck the night prior and he didn’t know where they went. He initially denied any involvement in the stolen vehicle.
Police claim that Stoner, Jr. later said he fabricated the story about his sister. He allegedly advised that he had been hooked on meth for the past eight days and that he remembered buying alcohol and meth the night prior, but didn’t remember stealing the truck, due to being blacked out.
He also allegedly told police that he remembers driving the truck around town during the night.
According to the ICSO, when Stoner, Jr. was presented with the sweatshirt that was found in the victim’s driveway, he confirmed it was his.