Riverton woman sentenced to jail for stealing prescription drugs.

April 5, 2016
Melissa Brand-Ray with her attorney, David Glancy.

Melissa Brand-Ray with her attorney, David Glancy.

By Allison Scarbrough. Courts/Police Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 50-year-old Riverton Township woman was sentenced to serve 45 days up front of a one-year discretionary jail term in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, April 5, for a felony conviction of larceny in a building after stealing the prescription drug, Norco, from a home in the 2900 block of Schwass Road in Riverton Township.

Melissa Anne Brand-Ray, of 2569 W. Kinney Rd., Riverton Township, was arrested last December by the Hart post of the Michigan State Police for felonies of second-degree home invasion and larceny in a building. In exchange for her plea last February to count two, count one was dismissed.

Judge Susan K. Sniegowski also ordered Brand-Ray to one year probation and that she continue her current outpatient counseling for substance abuse.

Brand-Ray’s sentence is to run concurrently with a Clare County sentence, according to Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola.

“What is of concern in this particular case is Mrs. Brand-Ray committed a very similar offense in Clare County around the same time frame,” Spaniola said. She and her sister stole prescription drugs and a “substantial amount of money” from their mother’s home, the prosecutor said. He noted that Brand-Ray does not have a substantial criminal history until her recent offenses. “It is a substance abuse issue that has gotten out of control,” he said.

Sniegowski is allowing Brand-Ray to serve her jail time on weekends, so that she will be able to continue her outpatient treatment.

“My husband has stage-four cancer, and I haven’t dealt well with it,” Brand-Ray told the judge.

Sentencing guidelines for the conviction are zero to six months.

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