The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Western UP meth ring gets federal sentence


July 11, 2018


MARQUETTE — Four western Upper Peninsula drug dealers were sentenced to federal prison, the Department of Justice’s office in Michigan’s Western District announced Monday.

Patrick Joseph Sievers, 36, formerly of Ironwood, was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison and eight years of supervised release.

Kathryn Maria Hellen, 27, formerly of Ironwood, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release.

Jennifer Elizabeth Smith, 29, formerly of Ontonagon, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

Dion Roy Jolliff, 43, formerly of Ontonagon, was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

The four were charged with selling crystal methamphetamine — which Assistant Attorney Maarten Vermaat, in the DOJ’s Marquette office, said was a very pure form of meth — across the western U.P.

Sievers started selling crystal meth in Gogebic, Ontonagon and Houghton counties in 2016, according to a DOJ press release announcing the sentences.

The Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team-West began an investigation into Sievers’s drug activities in October 2016, according to the criminal complaint against Sievers, which included a series of controlled buys with confidential sources.

“During at least three of the controlled buys, surveillance detectives were led to a residence located (on Dutch Road in Rockland) later identified to be the residence of Sievers,” the complaint reads. “... All of the controlled buys involved an amount of a clear crystalline substance, which field-tested positive for methamphetamine.”

By the time Sievers was arrested in March 2017, he sold between 1.5 and 4.5 kilograms of meth — according to what the release called a “conservative estimate.”

UPSET executed a search warrant on Sievers’ camp in Ontonagon on March 30, 2017.

Federal Judge Paul Maloney described the camp as a “drug bunker,” according to the release, as police found loaded firearms, motion detectors monitoring the approach to the camp, hidden safes and video surveillance monitoring the camps’ doors.

Sievers was arrested that day in Ironwood, according to the release, where detectives found approximately 8 ounces of crystal meth and a loaded handgun in his truck.

Smith was arrested for selling crystal meth in Ontonagon for Seivers, according to the release.

Jolliff was identified as another meth dealer in the area, and was arrested when he was found asleep at the wheel of Hellen’s van in the middle of an Ontonagon intersection.

Meth and drug paraphernalia were found in the van.

Hellen, who according to the release had a relationship with Sievers at one point, was arrested when she continued to sell meth after her three co-defendants were taken into custody.

In October 2017, a search of her rental property in Ontonagon resulted in the seizure of another 8 ounces of crystal meth and a loaded handgun, according to the release.

She admitted to making several trips to Wausau, Wis., to purchase multiple ounces of meth.

Michigan State Police troopers, and members of the Gogebic Iron Area Narcotics Team assisted in the investigation, according to the Department of Justice’s press release, while the federal Drug Enforcement Administration forensic laboratory conducted tests on the substances seized in the case.

Vermaat prosecuted the case.

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