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SHERIDAN — A Sheridan woman was released from the Sheridan County Detention Facility after approximately six and a half months after she pleaded guilty in 4th Judicial District Court to possessing equipment for the purpose of operating an unlawful clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.
Michele Mangan, 51, was sentenced by Judge John Fenn Tuesday morning and was assigned five years of supervised probation in lieu of four to seven years in prison.
Fenn described the sentence as “split,” between the 196 days Mangan has already served with the remainder of the five years to be completed on probation. Conditions of Mangan’s probation include that she must abstain from drugs and alcohol and maintain full-time employment.
Mangan was taken into custody Aug. 20, 2013, after an eight-month investigation conducted by the Northeast Enforcement Team. Mangan’s two sons, Joseph M. and Johnathan M. Reeson, were also arrested the same week after a juvenile informant told police the two brothers had supplied her with methamphetamine on multiple occasions.
Police obtained a warrant to arrest the three and search their home at 1849 Skeels Street. There, they found lab equipment consistent with a “one pot” methamphetamine cooking system.
NEET leaders said at the time of the arrests that it appeared the manufacturing operation existed to support their own habits, but that none of the three were involved were heavily involved in distribution to other customers.
The chemicals and equipment used to cook the drug were destroyed by a hazardous material disposal company.
While Mangan was not the protagonist in procuring supplies and making the drug in the travel trailer where the three lived, she did admit to purchasing Sudafed, a decongestant medication that contains pseudoephedrine, which is a key ingredient of methamphetamine. Mangan had also started to use the drug with her two sons when she was arrested.
Fenn remarked that Mangan’s case is an unusual one in that she was drawn in to the trappings of drug use as an adult with an associate’s degree. Her role in helping to facilitate her sons to manufacture and use methamphetamine had been more than passive acceptance and had become active involvement.
County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Darcy Phillips said she believes Mangan’s case is a classic example of an enabler with elements of codependency. Phillips recommended the five-year probationary sentence as part of a plea deal.
The Reeson brothers were each assigned a $20,000 bond and charged with three felonies: operating a methamphetamine lab, delivery of a controlled substance and delivery of a controlled substance to a minor. Both brothers have also accepted plea agreements that would have them serve four to six years in prison for operating the lab and five to ten years for delivering the methamphetamine to a minor. Under the agreements, the other delivery charge would be dropped.
While the prosecution has agreed to recommend the sentences in the agreement to the judge, Fenn is not obligated to assign the recommended sentence.
The Reeson brothers will be formally sentenced April 15.