Shelby man avoids prison in cocaine case.

July 16, 2018

Rodney Ramthun

Shelby man avoids prison in cocaine case.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — A 51-year-old Shelby man avoided a prison term that was recommended by the prosecution in a cocaine delivery case Monday, July 16, in 27th Circuit Court.

Rodney Alvin Ramthun, of 4080 W. Baker Rd., was sentenced to one year in jail for convictions of cocaine delivery less than 50 grams and second-offense habitual offender.

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon recommended a prison term of two to 30 years.

Ramthun pleaded guilty last March.

“I have received a lot of calls from the community,” said Bizon previously. Citizens have urged him to send Ramthun, who is a convicted sex offender, to prison.

Ramthun was arrested last November in Shelby Township on two counts of cocaine delivery less than 50 grams, one count of delivery/manufacture of marijuana and fourth-offense habitual offender. The other charges were dismissed in a plea agreement.

Since his arrest, Ramthun has been regularly attending counseling, which addresses his cocaine use, through West Michigan Community Mental Health, said his attorney Kelly Lambert. “Frankly, it’s been a very intense program,” Lambert said. His “recovery coach” was present in the courtroom and supports a one-year jail sentence, the defense attorney said.

“It speaks well of his sincerity and his intent to turn his life around,” Lambert said of his client’s counseling. The defense attorney urged Judge Robert D. Springstead to impose a one-year jail term, so Ramthun can continue his counseling with CMH. “It is the only counseling that has ever worked for him,” he said.

“It’s affected a lot of people,” said Ramthun as he fought back tears. “I just want to get on with my life and have a better (life).” He was “clean” for many years, he told the judge, but then “got caught up in it again.” Ramthun praised the counseling he has received. “CMH has gotten my life on track.”

“This is his fifth felony,” said Bizon. “He’s been to jail and prison, and it did not change his life.” Ramthun’s probation officer also requested a two-year prison sentence, he said. “It’s time for Mr. Ramthun to be removed from the community.”

“Mr. Ramthun, you pose a puzzle to the court,” Judge Springstead said. “On the one hand, you have have felony drug charges and a criminal sexual conduct conviction.”

Ramthun was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon in March of 2014 in Oceana County. He is also convicted of two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Oceana County in 1996 and 1995.

“One of my mentors, Judge (Terrence) Thomas said, ‘If you make a mistake, err on the side of leniency,'” the judge said.

Ramthun received credit for two days served in jail and was also sentenced to two years probation and a driver’s license suspension for six months with a restricted license after 30 days.

“Two years is a long time to keep your act together,” Judge Springstead warned him. “If you make one mistake, you’re going to prison.”

Sentencing guidelines in the case are five to 28 months, the judge said.

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