ESCANABA -A Rapid River man will be sentenced next month on four felonies. Charges include second-degree home invasion which carries a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
Craig Micheau, 40, pleaded no contest to the break-in charge and pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted receiving and concealing stolen firearms during a plea hearing in Delta County Circuit Court Monday. The second-degree home invasion charge relates to a break-in at a Rapid River home. Micheau's attorney, James Nancarrow, Marquette, said the no contest plea was made on the "basis of intoxication." The felony carries a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. A no contest plea receives the same sentencing as a guilty plea.
The three counts of attempted receiving and concealing stolen firearms relate to three other separate incidents. Each felony carries a maximum sentencing of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
A presentencing investigative report will be conducted by the probation department. Sentencing is set for Feb. 17 in circuit court.
In exchange for the above four pleas, other charges filed against the defendant will be dismissed, said Delta County Prosecutor Steve Parks. The defendant will pay full restitution for all incidents, whether the defendant pleaded to them or not, Parks added. No agreement was made on sentencing.
When Micheau was questioned Monday by Judge Stephen Davis if these pleas were in his best interest, the defendant replied, "They're best for me and my family."
At the judge's request, Micheau explained each of the three attempted receiving and concealing charges to which he pleaded guilty. Each count related to three different Remington firearms reported stolen during the past few years.
Micheau told the court he bought two of the firearms each at "a really good price" which he should have "reasonably" known were stolen. He gave one to a relative as a gift and he sold the other gun when "times got tough." The third firearm was thrown in with the purchase of another weapon which he "reasonably suspected" was stolen, he said.
In regards to the home break-in, Davis asked permission from Micheau to use information in the police report as he decides on sentencing.
Reviewing the police report, Davis said a home in Masonville Township was reported to have been broken into on Aug. 5, 2009. Two rifles and a shotgun were reported stolen from a gun cabinet. Fingerprints inside and outside the home matched Micheau's fingerprints, Davis explained. The homeowners never authorized the defendant to enter their home, the judge added.
Micheau was arrested in July following a year-long investigation by Michigan State Police in Gladstone and Delta County Sheriff's Department. He was charged with eight counts of receiving and concealing stolen property and one count of second-degree home invasion. The crimes related to the theft of guns and other items from homes, camps, and vehicles, mainly in the Rapid River area, from 2004-2009.
The defendant was later arrested on four additional charges relating to a home break-in and three stolen firearms, crimes which occurred while Micheau was released on bond from his original arrest.
Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, firstname.lastname@example.org