Guilty plea entered in cocaine case

Michael Montgomery Lee Ward

ESCANABA — A 22-year-old Bark River man pleaded guilty Thursday to selling cocaine on three separate occasions in Escanaba last year and will be sentenced on three drug felonies in Delta County Circuit Court in April.

Michael Montgomery Lee Ward admitted in court Thursday to dealing cocaine on Feb. 21, Feb. 27 and March 15, 2017, including one incident when he sold cocaine in a parking lot at Bay College.

Ward was arrested by the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team on three counts of delivery/manufacture of cocaine, each a 20-year felony. He was lodged in the county jail and later released after he posted an $85,000 surety bond.

Upon release, he was ordered to have no alcohol or illegal drugs and not to enter bars. He must submit to random drug testing. He cannot leave Delta County without the court’s permission.

During Thursday’s hearing, Ward pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of less than 25 grams of cocaine, each a four-year felony. In exchange for the guilty pleas, the prosecution agreed to dismiss the three 20-year cocaine felonies.

Judge John Economopoulos scheduled Ward’s sentencing for April 9 and told the defendant to have his affairs in order at that time in the event he is sent back to jail.