Ironwood man sentenced to prison on drug charge


November 29, 2017

Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

JEFFREY GORECKI, left, listens while his lawyer, Robert Peterson, argues a procedural point in Gogebic County Circuit Court Tuesday. Gorecki was sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine.


Bessemer - In one of the longer Gogebic Range drug sentences in the past few years, an Ironwood man was sentenced to at least 10 years in prison on a drug charge in Gogebic County Circuit Court Tuesday.

Jeffrey Thomas Gorecki, 45, was sentenced to between 10 and 20 years in prison for the charge of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine.

"It's clear from the pre-sentencing materials that Mr. Gorecki was actively involved in traveling to Minnesota to obtain methamphetamine and bringing it back in such quantities that it could be distributed throughout our community," Gogebic County Circuit Judge Michael Pope said while imposing his sentence. "... The amounts we're talking about are ounces, in some occasions pounds, of methamphetamine."

Gorecki pleaded guilty to the charge Oct. 3, as part of an agreement that had a felony count of delivery of meth dismissed Tuesday.

The charges stem from the search of a Tamarack Street, Ironwood, home in July.

The search resulted in the discovery of "large quantities of crystal meth, prescription medication, marijuana, a firearm and ammunition," according to a Gogebic Iron Area Narcotics Team press release.

The search was the culmination of a three-month investigation, the release said; which extended into Ontonagon and Marquette counties, as well as Iron County, Wis.

"This was a situation where GIANT again was involved in our community to cast its giant net to catch any individuals in what I would characterize as a dragnet operation," Gogebic County Prosecutor Nick Jacobs said. "Mr. Gorecki was one of the individuals that got snagged in the net."

He told the court Gorecki and one of his co-defendants, Jeffrey Elton Schmiege, had made multiple trips to Minnesota to get meth to sell locally.

Gorecki's attorney, Robert Peterson, argued Tuesday his client was remorseful and pointed the finger at Schmiege as the ringleader in the case.

"Basically, your honor, this is an individual who got addicted by Schmiege - performed acts for Schmiege to get his drugs he was addicted to," Peterson said. "He was used by the main player, and he realizes that now."

He argued the 10-20 year sentence Jacobs asked for and recommended by the Department of Corrections wasn't proportionate to the case, given Goreciki has only one felony conviction on his record.

Instead he asked the court to lean toward the lower end of the sentencing guidelines and impose a sentence of six and a half years.

While imposing sentence; Pope noted while Gorecki only had one prior felony conviction, he had numerous misdemeanor convictions and was on probation in Marquette County at the time of the offense in this case.

Gorecki received 129 days jail credit for time served prior to sentence.

He was one of seven defendants in the case.

Three others - Jenifer Lynn Powell, of Ironwood; Ryan Frank Reinhard, of Ironwood; and Jonathon Phillip Thomas, of Mercer - have pleaded guilty to charges and are awaiting sentence.

Powell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess meth with intent to deliver and a habitual offender-second offense designation Oct. 31 and is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 16. Reinhard pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver meth on Oct. 25 and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 12. Thomas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess meth with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug house on Oct. 23 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 19.

Three others - Schmiege, David Wayne Opsahl and Jakob Wayne Applekamp - have final pre-trial conferences or trial dates scheduled in the next three months.


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