LANSING — An attorney took part in “an elaborate scheme” to smuggle drugs into Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, according to charging documents obtained Monday by the Free Press.
Eric H. Clark, 69, who has a Livonia office and lives in Bloomfield Township, was arraigned Friday on charges of bringing contraband into a prison, which is a five-year felony; and possessing less than 25 grams of a controlled substance, which is a four-year felony, records show.
Clark was caught trying to smuggle 5-Fluoro ADB, a potent synthetic cannabinoid, according to a complaint filed in the district court in Coldwater. The lawyer was paid $1,500 to make two drug deliveries, the complaint alleges.
Clark did not respond to telephone and email messages Monday. The complaint says he confirmed he was paid for the deliveries but “denied having specific intent or knowledge that a crime was afoot.”
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Clark was arrested Thursday, but the investigation began June 1 after a suspicious incident involving Clark, according to the complaint.
On that day, Clark arrived at the prison in Branch County with papers he said he wanted delivered to his client, the complaint says.
Prison officials examined the papers and “found indicators of possible illegal drug activity.” They turned the papers over to the Michigan State Police and testing showed the papers were coated with a controlled substance, the complaint alleges.
“Examination of MDOC recorded prisoners phone calls found an elaborate scheme to smuggle controlled substances into the prison through attorney-client visits,” the complaint alleges. “Further examination of the calls showed the prisoner was aware and involved in this plot along with others.”
When Clark sets up another meeting with the prisoner for Thursday, the police are waiting. He showed up “with papers in hand showing nearly identical indicators of drug activity and confirmed those papers were intended for his client.”
The complaint does not explicitly identify the prisoner who was Clark’s client but lists prisoner Quentin Bogya as a witness in the case. Bogya, 23, who is serving time for a criminal sexual conduct charge out of Livingston County, was transferred Thursday from Lakeland to a Jackson-area prison, records show.
Kyle Kaminski, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections, confirmed that Bogya was the prisoner Clark was scheduled to meet at the prison.
“The department is continuing its investigation into this situation and is hopeful that everyone involved will ultimately be held accountable with criminal charges,” Kaminski said.
“The use of legal mail to introduce contraband into the MDOC is a significant concern, which is why it is something the department takes so seriously and maintains a focus on within our operations. We are appreciative of the work of our staff and partners in uncovering this effort at the Lakeland Correctional Facility.”
The charges were filed by the office of Branch County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Stempien.
Clark was admitted to the state bar in 1980 and has a clean disciplinary record, according to the websites of the State Bar of Michigan and the Attorney Discipline Board. He was released on bond and is next scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on Aug. 24.
Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.