The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer man gets federal prison sentence for meth


November 2, 2017


MARQUETTE — A former Bessemer resident has been sentenced to federal prison for methamphetamine trafficking and unlawful gun possession.

Jeremy James Whitebird, 34, was sentenced to 17 years, eight months in prison for possession with intent to distribute meth. He was also sentenced to 10 years in prison for a firearms charge, but a Department of Justice press release announcing the sentences said they would be served concurrently. He was also sentenced to five years supervised release after he leaves prison.

Whitebird was arrested in January after Gogebic Iron Area Narcotics Team members executed a search warrant on his Lead Street, Bessemer, home.

“During the search, police found 424 grams of crystal meth, ... 194 grams of cocaine, 27 grams of heroin and 3.5 pounds of marijuana,” A Justice Department spokesperson said in the release. “Whitebird, who has multiple prior felony convictions, was also in possession of several firearms. In addition, Whitebird, who is the father of six children and currently owes more than $25,000 in child support, had about $15,000 in cash in his possession.”

According to a federal criminal complaint against him from February; online records show Whitebird was previously convicted in Wisconsin of substantial battery in 2007 and 1998, possession with intent to distribute THC in 2006 and possession of an electric weapon in 2002, as well as several misdemeanor charges between 2002 to 2014.

Whitebird pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute meth and one count of a felon being in possession of a firearm on June 26 in federal court.

According to the February criminal complaint, a Norinco SKS and two other rifles were found during the search.

Ironwood Public Safety Department Sgt. Matt Sterbenz, who leads GIANT, thanked the team members and other agencies involved in the case.

“A small team, committed to a cause bigger than themselves, can achieve absolutely anything,” Sterbenz told the Daily Globe, quoting author Simon Sinek.

“One thing that we have learned is, narcotic investigations are very time consuming and require a lot of dedication by the individuals investigating them,” Sterbenz continued. “I’m very proud of the members of (GIANT) and all they have accomplished by working together.”

Whitebird was the last of the four co-defendants in the case to be sentenced, and the only one to face federal charges.

Corey Allan Tutor, of Odanah, Wis., pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors — use of cocaine and disorderly person-loitering about an illegal business. He was sentenced to the 130 days in jail he already served, as well as assorted fines and costs.

Carlos Jordan, of Odanah, Wis., pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors — use of meth, use of a narcotic and disorderly person-loitering around an illegal business. He was sentence to the 33 days already served in jail, as well as two years of probation.

Rebecca Jade Gibbons, of Ironwood, was sentenced to 18 months probation and 19 days credit for jail time previously served on the charges of disorderly person-loitering about an illegal business and use of cocaine.

All three had originally faced more serious charges, but amended charges were filed in their cases as the investigation made clear the evidence didn’t fit the original charges.


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