Man sentenced for running large-scale cocaine operation in U.P. following triple homicide
SCHOOLCRAFT COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- An Upper Peninsula man was sentenced to prison for running a large-scale cocaine operation following a triple homicide investigation in 2015.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that Brunke was sentenced to 225 to 360 months in prison. Brunke pleaded no contest to three felony counts related to the delivery of cocaine in March 2017.
"Mr. Brunke's drug crimes were very serious and his sentence today reflects that," said Schuette. "While no prison sentence will undo what happened in 2015, I hope this sentence provides some sense of closure to the local community and serves as a reminder that criminal activity comes with consequences."
In February of 2016, Schoolcraft County prosecutor filed drug charges against Brunke based on evidence gained during a 2015 triple homicide investigation involving Brunke.
The Attorney General's Office was asked to help with the drug case in May of 2016. Brunke was sentenced last year in relation to that triple homicide that occurred at this home and is currently serving 40 to 60 months in prison.
Brunke pleaded no contest to one count of Controlled Substance – Delivery / Manufacture (cocaine) 1,000 or more grams; one count of Conspiracy Controlled Substance – Delivery / Manufacture (cocaine) 1,000 or more grams; and one count of Controlled Substance – Delivery / Manufacture less than 50 grams and was sentenced to 225 months to 360 months in prison as well as fines and costs totaling over $500,000.00 for the two counts of more than 1,000 grams. Brunke was sentenced to 752 days for the Delivery less than 50 grams count.
In the spring of 2015, the bodies of three people were found inside a car, that was lit on fire. Brunke was one of the three suspects charged in relation to the murders.
Before the case reached trial, one of the suspects passed away. In exchange for testimony against the third and final suspect Gary Cordell, Brunke pleaded to one count of lying to a peace officer and one count of obstruction of justice. Burnke was sentenced for those crimes.
Cordell pleaded guilty to three counts of first degree murder and is currently serving three non-parolable life sentences.