Esko man smuggles methadone to son in prisonAn Esko man and his son were both charged recently after the father smuggled two methadone pills into the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Moose Lake where the son was an inmate.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
An Esko man and his son were both charged recently after the father smuggled two methadone pills into the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Moose Lake where the son was an inmate.
According to the criminal complaint, on May 1 staff at the facility reported to the Moose Lake Police Department that Daniel Alex Belich, 53, had introduced the methadone pills into the facility and given them to his son, Alex Mark Belich, 31.
Daniel Belich was later interviewed by authorities and admitted to bringing the pills — for which he did not have a prescription — to his son at the correctional facility on or about April 8. On June 19, Daniel Belich was formally charged in Carlton County Court with one felony count of fifth degree drug possession and one gross misdemeanor count of introducing contraband/drugs into a prison. He is slated for an omnibus hearing at 9 a.m. Sept. 4.
Alex Belich was sentenced in Carlton County Court last Friday to 17 months in prison for one felony count of fifth-degree drug possession in relation to the incident. Judge Dale Wolf ordered that the sentence be served concurrently with the time he is already serving for a previous offense.
Alex Belich had been sentenced in St. Louis County on June 24, 2011, to 48 months in prison for first-degree driving while impaired. According to Assistant Carlton County Attorney Michael Boese, first degree, or felony, DUI (FDUI) occurs upon a person's 4th DUI within a contiguous 10-year period, or if that person has a prior FDUI, which Belich did. At that time, Belich’s sentence was stayed for five years. He was ordered to serve five years of supervised probation and enrolled in felony DWI court in St. Louis County with the understanding that if he failed to meet any of the conditions of his probation, the stayed sentence could be revoked at any time and he would then have to serve the remaining time in prison.
Subsequently, Belich violated the terms of his probation several times. Each time he was ordered to serve increasing amounts of time in local confinement and return to Phase One of DWI court. Finally, on Oct. 10, 2012, St. Louis County Judge Shaun Floerke ruled that Belich's probation be revoked and ordered his sentence be executed. Belich was then committed to the commissioner of corrections and sent to the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Moose Lake, where he stayed up until the recent methadone incident.
According to Boese, Alex Belich was moved to the correctional facility in Stillwater immediately after the prison found the methadone pills, where he remains to this date, serving out the balance of his original 48-month sentence. He has, however, indicated a desire to enter into the Challenge Incarceration program this fall, if the Department of Corrections (DOC) allows him, which could afford him an earlier release pursuant to DOC guidelines.