Third man involved in multiple break-ins headed to prison
REED CITY — A Marion man could spend up to 40 years years in prison for his role in various breaking and enterings throughout Osceola County.
Joseph Blake Cruson, 39, of Marion, was sentenced on Friday to between five and 40 years in prison for a criminal enterprise charge, and between five and 20 years for two breaking and entering with intent charges. He was given credit for 155 days already served.
Cruson and Daniel Weaver, 47, of Marion, and James Lee Berube, 25, of Evart, were arrested in February in connection with numerous break-ins.
Cruson had four separate but related cases with various felony charges in Osceola County. Cruson, Weaver and Berube were charged in February after police discovered hundreds of items of stolen property including furniture, tools, 4-wheelers, golf carts, UTVs, boats, snowmobiles, firearms, electronics, vehicles and more.
The trio was believed to be connected to dozens of break-ins which had occurred between September 2016 and February 2017 throughout Osceola County.
In his first case, Cruson was charged with two counts of breaking and entering with intent and one count of second-degree home invasion.
Cruson later was charged with one count of operating/maintaining a laboratory used to manufacture methamphetamine, one count of purchasing/possessing ephedrine/pseudoephederine to make methamphetamine and one count of maintaining a drug house. These charges stemmed from two active methamphetamine labs which were found when police executed a search warrant and uncovered the extensive amount of stolen property.
In another case, Cruson was charged with one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, one count of second-degree home invasion and seven counts of breaking and entering with intent.
He also was charged with two counts of attempting to bribe/intimidate/interfere with a case punishable by more than 10 years in prison, allegedly for actions involving contact with his co-defendant.
As part of a plea agreement, Cruson pleaded guilty to the one count of conducting a criminal enterprise and two counts of breaking and entering with intent. In exchange for his plea, the remaining charges and cases against him were dismissed. He was sentenced as a habitual offender.
Cruson also must pay restitution with his co-defendants.
Weaver and Berube were both sentenced earlier this month. While Berube was sentenced to jail, Weaver received prison time for his crimes.