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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
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Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Backroom owner arrested

Backroom Obsessions in Marquette is closed temporarily after the owner was arrested Friday, Jan. 27 on felony charges alleging unlawful delivery and manufacturing of controlled substances.

Michael Jestila of Houghton is the owner of both the Marquette and Houghton Backroom stores and is being charge with two felony counts of of delivering and manufacturing the drugs Pyrovalerone, also known as “Bath Salts,” and JWH/250, also known as “Spice.” The maximum criminal penalty is seven years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

In a press release, Marquette County Prosecutor Matthew Wiese advised that the charges against Jestila are merely accusations at this time and that Jestila is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

“They were suppose to stop selling these bath salts, but they didn’t,” said Cheryl Hill, Marquette County chief assistant prosecutor.

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In February 2011, the Marquette County Health Department got a lot of complaints about the damage the bath salts were doing to people, Hill said. The department issued an Emergency Order to Protect Imminent Danger to Health or Lives directed at Jestila and Backroom Obsessions in Marquette, based on their sale of products known as “White Rush” and “Bath Salts.” Both are highly dangerous to human beings when consumed.

“We suspected that they were still selling these drugs, so undercover cops were sent in,” Hill said. “They found that they were still selling the drug. So they had them tested and found that two of them had controlled substances in them.”

According to a press release, Wiese announced his office has also filed a public nuisance complaint against the owner and his businesses alleging that Jestila and Backroom Obsessions in Marquette were engaged in the unlawful sale of controlled substances in violation of Michigan’s Controlled Substance Act and by doing so it interfered with the public’s health and safety.

Wiese also said in addition to filling the nuisance complaint, his office asked Marquette Circuit Judge Thomas Solka to issue a Temporary Restraining Order immediately closing the Marquette store pending further proceedings, a press release said. Judge Solka issued an order padlocking the building and temporarily declaring the Backroom in Marquette as a public and common law nuisance. The store is closed until at least Thursday, Feb. 23 when Jestila is to appear before Judge Solka at 10:30 a.m. for his scheduled hearing.

“We are trying to get it closed for a year,” Hill said.

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, the Marquette Police Department and the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at the Backroom in Marquette after a three-month investigation into allegations that the store was selling controlled substances.

Officers confiscated numerous material believed to contain controlled substances. The Michigan State Police Crime Lab examined the seized items and discovered that some of the items contained what is believed to be controlled substances, according to a press release.

Jestila was arrested in Houghton at his other store on Friday by Houghton City Police and the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office and is being held on a $100,000 bond, said a press release from Marquette Police Department.

According to a press release from the prosecutor’s office, any controlled substances on the premises or in the possession of Jestila were to be confiscated and removed for destruction by the Marquette Police Department.

Wiese announced his office has also filed a public nuisance complaint against the owner and his businesses alleging that Jestila and Backroom Obsessions in Marquette were engaged in the unlawful sale of controlled substances in violation of Michigan’s Controlled Substance Act and by doing so it interfered with the public’s health and safety.

Wiese also said in addition to filling the nuisance complaint, his office asked Marquette Circuit Judge Thomas Solka to issue a Temporary Restraining Order immediately closing the Marquette store pending further proceedings, a press release said. Judge Solka issued an order padlocking the building and temporarily declaring the Backroom in Marquette as a public and common law nuisance. The store is closed until at least Thursday, Feb. 23 when Jestila is to appear before Judge Solka at 10:30 a.m. for his scheduled hearing.

“We are trying to get it closed for a year,” Hill said.

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, the Marquette Police Department and the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at the Backroom in Marquette after a three-month investigation into allegations that the store was selling controlled substances

Officers confiscated numerous material believed to contain controlled substances. The Michigan State Police Crime Lab examined the seized items and discovered that some of the items contained what is believed to be controlled substances, according to a press release.

Jestila was arrested in Houghton at his other store on Friday by Houghton City Police and the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office and is being held on a $100,000 bond, said a press release from Marquette Police Department.

According to a press release from the prosecutor’s office, any controlled substances on the premises or in the possession of Jestila were to be confiscated and removed for destruction by the Marquette Police Department.

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