The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 8, 1997 -5
Suspect search focuses on forest
ALLEGAN, Mich. (AP) - An elite team of state
troopers wearing Army helmets, face paint and bullet-
proof vests scoured a small section of a state forest
yesterday seeking a man suspected of killing three
people in a dispute over drugs. Authorities got a major
break when they discovered Michael Cleary's pickup
truck along with a cache of weapons, food, clothes and
imping gear in the Allegan State Game Area, 50
les south of Grand Rapids.
But the search for a man who is described as an
4experienced woodsman was daunting. The forest is a
biaze of dirt roads, narrow two-track paths, swamps,
Takes and tricky terrain.
M By 1:30 p.m., after an all-night hunt over two square
miles, Cleary was still at large. The SWAT team
retreated while dogs attempted to pick up any fresh
"There's just so much open space. It would take an
LANSING (AP) -- Michigan's
toughest-in-the-nation law that
sends some drug offenders to jail for
life would be relaxed under bills
approved separately yesterday by
House and Senate committees.
While the full House and Senate
gust still vote on the bills, the
anges were welcomed yesterday
by a group whose,loved ones are
serving lengthy sentences under the
"It's a pretty big day for families
'that oppose mandatory minimum,"
said Laura Ager, director of Families
Against Mandatory Minimums-
Michigan Project. "It's a major step
toward creating integrity in our
iminal justice system in
ichigan." The House Judiciary
Committee, acting in the morning,
passed a bill removing a provision
calling for mandatory life in prison
'for anyone convicted of delivering
more than 650 grams - 1.4 pounds
of a narcotic or cocaine.
Rep. Michael Nye (R-Litchfield),
a co-sponsor of the amendment, said
the measure gets rid of the mandato-
Slife sentence, returning sentenc-
g discretion to judges.
"It says it's a felony punishable by
any number of terms up to life," Nye
said. "This will give the judge the
ability to say, 'There's a drug king-
pin,' and give him life."
Co-sponsor Rep. Ted Wallace (D-
Detroit) said the change is needed to
alleviate overcrowding at some pris-
"We're clogging up the jails with
Tow-level drug offenders and there's
no room for violent offenders?"
The Senate Judiciary Committee,
meeting yesterday afternoon,
approved two similar bills that were
all for . making first-time drug
offenders eligible for parole after 15
yyears in prison if they cooperate
with law enforcement officials.
The first bill went to the full
- Souse on a unanimous committee
vote; the second two bills were sent
o the to the full Senate on votes of
Continued from Page 1
K'nows how the system works, they'll be
fine," Kelly said. "It's a whole issue of
.nancial planning. If your bank's ATM
liarges, then take out the niaximum
'amount of money allowed in one trans-
action, and then you can avoid many
While most surcharges add up to
~ about $3, Kelly said some ATMs on
cruise ships charge an extra 15 percent
of the total amount withdrawn. An
ATM in a Reno, Nevada casino, he
said, has a $94 per transaction sur-
*These bills are part of a 29-bill
dBonsumer Protection Package orga-
+. nized by Brater, chair of the House
Consumer Protection Committee.
Brater will hold a public hearing on
the bills at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 in the
Washtenaw County Building's board
Army to cover it all," Lt. Richard Margosian said after
a four-hour trip through the woods. "If he's hunkered
down and camouflaged, you could literally walk over
The team's commander, Lt. Jerry Ellsworth, said a
search by foot was suspended "until we get better
Cleary, 40, is suspected of killing three people in
neighboring Van Buren County, although he is not
charged with the deaths. The bodies were discovered
Friday in a small house at Van Auken Lake, 10 miles
from South Haven.
"It looks like a dope deal gone bad," said Sgt. Mike
Sweeney, a state police detective.
Sheriff's officers went door to door along 48th
Street, warning the few rural residents who live in the
state game area to keep their doors locked. Cleary is
considered armed and dangerous.
Bill Sisson, 64, wasn't worried. He suggested that
he'd have a surprise if Cleary came knocking.
"Whenever I answer the door, I've got my friendly
persuader with me." Sisson said, patting his waist. "He
could be sitting up on a hill watching us right now. He
could be 100 miles away. Who knows?"
Indeed, police acknowledged that Cleary could
have walked out of the forest and hitchhiked. They
said he probably fled his campsite after hearing voic-
es or a vehicle.
Sweeney discovered the pickup truck after follow-
ing up on a tip during his ride home Monday after-
noon. A heat-sensing helicopter later flew over the
area but failed to detect anything, not even a deer.
Cleary is 5 feet 8 inches tall and 190 pounds, with
reddish gray hair and a full beard.
The victims in last week's murders were Mex
Handley, 37, Brenda Hurley, 34, and Dan Charles, 26.
Don Smartz, of Detroit, a retired construction worker, reads a book on Belle
isle as Canadian geese walk between him and Canada yesterday.
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