2017-10-11 / Police Beat

Flint man sentenced for selling heroin at Lapeer Burger King

BY ANDREW DIETDERICH
810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.com


John Calvin Holt III John Calvin Holt III LAPEER — A 41-yearold Flint man was sentenced Monday to at least two years in prison for selling heroin in the middle of the day to a police informant in the parking lot of a Lapeer Burger King.

John Calvin Holt III was originally charged with one count of delivery, and two counts of possession of heroin. He also was charged in connection with trying to run from police. Previously, he was convicted of three felonies including felonious assault, armed robbery, and carjacking.

Lapeer County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Sharkey said pursuing such cases in a priority for him as the county’s top law enforcement official.

Sharkey noted that the goal typically in such cases is to try and rehabilitate as many people as possible, but that some cases are simply reduced to trying to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

“He’s got eight prior felonies and nine prior misdemeanors,” Sharkey said. “He has serious drug problems and admits to it. With someone who has that kind of history, we’re beyond hoping that he learns from his mistakes.”

Details of how Holt was apprehended were revealed during a preliminary exam held May 17 in front of Lapeer County Circuit Court Judge Byron Konschuh.

Police from the Michigan State Police Thumb Narcotics Unit (TNU) testified that they were working with a confidential informant who allegedly had arraigned to buy $280 worth of heroin from Holt on May 1.

The informant was given marked money by TNU to make the buy. She also was outfitted with “tech equipment” that allowed for video and audio recording of the alleged transaction.

The deal was originally supposed to occur at the Sunoco gas station at the corner of M-24 and DeMille Road at about 3 p.m.

Police claim Holt called the informant while she was there and told her to head east, toward the Holiday Inn along DeMille.

“The informant was then observed meeting with the defendant behind the Burger King parking lot, which is where the transaction actually took place,” a TNU officer testified, adding that police were conducting surveillance of the deal from several spots around the busy intersection.

Holt was seen walking into Burger King, the right back out, before getting on a mobile phone and “pacing in front of the south side of Burger King, at which time our team converged upon him,” the officer testified.

Holt allegedly then tried to flee the scene, but didn’t get far before police tackled him and took him into custody.

Leading up to Monday’s sentencing, Holt’s attorney, Marc Jarrett Sackin, of Morgan, Starr, Sackin PLLC in Lapeer, continually tried to make the case that Holt had been a victim of entrapment.

In binding the case over to Lapeer County Circuit Court, however, Konschuh said “there may be some of those (entrapment) factors present but there was no testimony regarding any of those factors at preliminary exam so… the court’s not going to speculate that Mr. Holt was, so to speak, set up or entrapped into doing this deal.”

Lt. Doug Rogers, commander of TNU, told The County Press earlier this year that “This operation, while successful for us, is an indicator of the size of the problem we are dealing with and a reminder to me of how much more we need to do.”

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