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Former cops in court

COLLINS

MARQUETTE — Legal proceedings for the two former law enforcement officers arrested on drug-related charges are taking place.

Richard Joseph Neaves, 31, of Marquette and Todd Andrew Collins, 36, of Negaunee were arraigned in Marquette County’s 96th District Court in early December on two-count felony warrants issued by the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office.

Count 1 was conspiracy to commit controlled substance-delivery/manufacture, schedules 1, 2, 3 except marihuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy and cocaine, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison and/or $20,000 fine and a $10,000 additional fine. The second count was using a computer to commit a crime, which carries a maximum sentence of four to 10 years.

At Collins’ most recent court date, he entered a plea deal which resulted in lesser charges. Collins pled guilty to one count of controlled substance use schedules 1, 2, 3 or 4 except narcotics, which carries a maximum one-year penalty in prison.

His second charge — one count of using a computer to commit a crime — was dropped.

NEAVES

His sentencing will take place at a later date.

Neaves’ case was bound over to the 25th Circuit Court after his preliminary examination was waived.

Additional charges are also being brought against Neaves for a separate incident that occurred during his time as a law enforcement officer.

While employed at the Negaunee Police Department, Neaves was caught breaking into and taking prescription medications from the prescription drug take-back box in the lobby of the police department on several occasions, officials said. Neaves admitted his guilt of these actions during the criminal investigation, incident report documents obtained from the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office by The Mining Journal through a Freedom of Information Act request state.

The charges first brought against Neaves were larceny in a building and possession of a burglar’s tool.

The criminal investigation into the larceny from the prescription drug take-back box led to an additional investigation into the former officer’s selling and use of anabolic steroids.

A plea agreement may be reached with Neaves’ lawyer, separate trials may take place or he may be tried on all charges at once, Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese explained.

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is tcarey@miningjournal.net.

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