The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Township man pleads guilty to drug, gun charges


Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

GOGEBIC COUNTY Circuit Court Judge Michael Pope addresses defendant Donald Kirby and his attorney, Rudy Perhalla, from the bench Thursday during a hearing where Kirby entered a guilty plea to drug and gun charges.


Bessemer - Ironwood Township resident Donald Kirby, 28, entered guilty pleas to possessing heroin with intent to deliver and a felony firearm charge Thursday in Gogebic County Circuit Court, as part of a deal with Gogebic County Prosecutor Nick Jacobs.

The possession charge carries a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.

The felony firearms charge carries a maximum two-year prison sentence.

Jacobs told the Daily Globe the charges require the sentences be served consecutively, rather than at the same time.

According to the information presented in court, Kirby faced a number of other charges, which will be dropped as part of the deal, relating to two incidents.

The dropped charges from the first incident include possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, suboxone, Adderall and vicodin, Xanax, valium and tramadol, possession of a controlled substance on school or library property, resisting and obstructing and a habitual offender-fourth offense notice.

The dropped charges from the second incident include possession of a weapon by a felon, possession of heroin, maintaining a drug house and a habitual offender-fourth offense notice.

As part of the deal, Kirby agreed to testify as necessary in future cases.

Kirby told Circuit Court Judge Michael Pope the possession with intent to deliver charge happened on Oct. 22, 2015, in Ironwood. Kirby said he had picked up a safe containing heroin from his brother's house on Mansfield Street with the intention of taking it to his house when he was pulled over and arrested. He told the court he intended to later return the safe.

Kirby said the Jan. 13, 2016, incident took place at his house in Ironwood Township. He said he had borrowed a .44-caliber Ruger gun to go target shooting and had the gun at his house for about a week or two and used heroin at his house during that time.

Kirby told Pope while he was not aware possessing a gun while using heroin was illegal, he did know using heroin was illegal.

These admissions satisfied both Jacobs and Kirby's attorney, Rudy Perhalla, that a factual basis for guilt had been established.

Kirby is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 16.


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