Attempted pot thief pleads guilty

November 10, 2014
Daniel Swanger

Daniel Swanger

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — Daniel James Swanger, 46, of Hesperia, pleaded guilty Monday morning, Nov. 10, in 27th Circuit Court to attempted larceny over $1,000/less than $20,000 stemming from his arrest in September following an incident at a marijuana growing operation in rural Newfield Township that involved the firing of a gun.

Swanger was the eldest of four Hesperia-area men arraigned last September on charges of attempted larceny over $1,000/less than $20,000 and possession of burglary tools following a manhunt.

Dillan Slade, 17, and Jerome-James Kenneth-Hampton, 19, were arrested Sept. 17 following an “exhaustive” manhunt by police in a rural, swampy area. Swanger and Jesse Ingalls-Johnson, 21, were on the loose until police apprehended them the following day, Sept. 18.

Swanger’s plea bargain requires “truthful testimony against any co-conspirators,” Oceana County Prosecutor told Judge Anthony Monton Monday. As part of the agreement, his sentencing is capped at 30 days in jail, Bizon said. Monton set Swanger’s sentencing for Dec. 27 at 10 a.m. He has been free on bond after posting 10 percent of $10,000.

A female called 911 after she saw men dressed in camouflage with their faces covered emerging from the woods to enter a medical marijuana growing operation. She told police that she called out to them; a gunshot was fired; and the men ran off.

No one was injured during this incident, which occurred outside of Hesperia in “a rural country area, with woods, swamps and corn fields,” Oceana County Undersheriff Tim Priese said.

“I didn’t really know them,” Swanger told Monton of the three young co-conspirators. “I just dropped the kids off around the corner.”

“The plan was take medical marijuana,” Monton said.

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