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Two plead guilty to felony drug charges

November 7th, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Chelsey Gensel

LOGAN–Gerald Baarsma of West Valley and Tawnie Tilleman of Kamas pleaded guilty to reduced charges in 1st District Court Nov. 3.

Baarsma, 22, participated in a drug transaction Oct. 13 at the south Walmart store with a confidential informant who was working with the Logan City Police Department. Tilleman, 21, had previously arranged to pick up more than one pound of marijuana in Park City and “was essentially the transportation,” said prosecuting attorney Tony C. Baird.

Several agents participated in the controlled buy, which Baird said involved 1 pound, 4 ounces of marijuana, and then arrested those involved when the transaction was complete.

“To his credit, [Baarsma] did admit these things,” Baird said, but gave police a false name, Ralph Edward Caswell, while being taken into custody, and signed a document using that name. Later Baarsma’s “true identity was determined, and he was charged properly,” Baird said.

The charges include possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and forgery, both third-degree felonies. Another charge was dropped as part of a plea bargain.

Tilleman was charged with a third-degree felony count of distributing or offering to arrange distribution of a controlled substance. All counts carry a sentence of up to five years in prison and/or an up to $5,000 fine.

Both parties will be sentenced Dec. 14 at 9 a.m.
Baarsma will remain incarcerated until that time, while Tilleman will begin probation.

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