Judge sends meth dealer to prison

Gage Madsen listens during a sentencing hearing Thursday in 35th Circuit Court.

CORUNNA — An Owosso man caught by police with an ounce of meth and more than $1,600 in cash was sentenced to at least eight years in prison Thursday by 35th Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart.

Gage Madsen, 29, was sentenced to 96 to 120 months in prison, and ordered to pay court costs and fines. Madsen was on parole at the time of his arrest in June, so he will not receive credit for time served while awaiting sentencing.

“You were caught with almost 30 grams of methamphetamine and $1,600 in cash,” Stewart said. “That looks like a lot more than just selling to sustain your use. It looks like you’re a full-on dealer. That’s a lot of meth and that’s a lot of cash.”

Madsen apologized to the court and community, stating his desire to end the cycle of addiction and incarceration. He claimed to be selling meth to support his own habit.

“Drugs manipulate my mind,” Madsen said. “I don’t want to do this anymore… I don’t want (children) looking at me and thinking this is cool, this is normal, going to jail, going to prison, being on parole.”

Defense attorney Michael Maddaloni asked Stewart to sentence Madsen to the lower end of guidelines.

“It’s a lifetime pattern,” Maddaloni said. “Drugs are not the answer, they’re the opposite of the answer… Whatever demons he’s fighting off, the meth isn’t doing it… He doesn’t want to be in this situation.”

Shiawassee County Prosecutor Scott Koerner, however, pointed out Madsen has six parole violations, and was selling drugs while on parole.

“He was going to outpatient treatment when he got caught with this meth,” Koerner said. “It’s obvious he was doing more than just selling for personal use.”

Madsen was arrested in June following a Mid-Michigan Area Group Narcotics Enforcement Team investigation.

He was arraigned June 24 by former 66th District Court Magistrate Dan Nees; Madsen pleaded not guilty.

Madsen pleaded guilty to delivery/manufacture of meth at a hearing Sept. 21 in circuit court.

According to online district court records, Madsen has numerous felony and misdemeanor convictions dating back to at least 2009, including delivery/manufacture of a controlled substance, fleeing/eluding police, and resisting/obstructing police, and served a prison sentence before being paroled in September 2020.

As part of his sentence, Madsen will be required to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and treatment.

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