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Hunt for parole violator leads to drug bust and arrests

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MECOSTA COUNTY, Mich – A joint law enforcement initiative to find and arrest a parole absconder has led to a substantial drug bust and multiple arrests according to the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office.

Charles Starling, 27, of Alpena

Charles Starling, 27, of Alpena

Detectives were dispatched to conduct surveillance at a home along 187th Avenue just north of 11 Mile Road on October 8, trying to locate and arrest Charles Starling, 27, of Alpena.

Starling was wanted by the Michigan Department of Corrections after violating his parole following an initial conviction for Home Invasion in Alpena County.

Investigators say information obtained during the surveillance initiative ended up leading to a search warrant for the residence.

On October 14, detectives searched the home in Mecosta Township, confiscating more than $2,500 worth of harvested marijuana found on the property.  Detectives say marijuana plants, drug producing equipment and weapons were also found inside the home.

Charles Post, 30, of Stanwood

Charles Post, 30, of Stanwood

Another suspect, Charles Post, 30, of Stanwood was subsequently arrested at the home.  Deputies say a suspected psilocybin-containing drug material, a hallucinogenic substance tied to mushrooms, was also confiscated and sent to a crime lab for analysis and could lead to possible additional charges against Post.

Post has already been arraigned on several charges connected to the investigation, including delivering and manufacturing marijuana and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Post was released from custody earlier this month after posting a $50,000 surety bond.

Starling was arrested at a separate location on October 16.  Detectives say he’d been staying with Post prior to the search warrant being executed at the home in Mecosta Township.

Starling was initially lodged at the Mecosta County Jail and later turned over to the Michigan Department of Corrections.

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, the Michigan Department of Corrections Absconder Unit and the Central Michigan Drug Enforcement Team (CMET).

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