Heroin kingpin given prison

Published 10:35 am Monday, December 21, 2015

A Benton Harbor man who was the mastermind of a heroin ring located in Dowagiac will be returning for another lengthy stay in prison.

Bobbie Maxwell

Bobbie Maxwell

Bobbie Maxwell was committed to the Michigan Department of Corrections for a minimum term of three years to a maximum term of 15 years during his sentencing hearing Friday morning at the Cass County Law and Courts Building in Cassopolis. The 49-year-old had pleaded guilty on Nov. 13, to two counts of conspiracy to deliver heroin in an amount less than 50 grams, a count of delivery of heroin in an amount less than 50 grams and a count of possession of heroin in an amount less than 25 grams.

According to Cass County Circuit Court Judge Michael Dodge, Maxwell incurred these charges due to his involvement in a small drug ring in Dowagiac from October 2014 to August 2015. The Benton Harbor man conspired with two women to sell heroin within the city, admitting to the court that he had delivered narcotics for the pair to distribute, Dodge said.

“You established the prices, and they in turn would sell it to the customers,” Dodge said. “You also admitted you had in been in possession of some heroin yourself, and on occasion had delivered it to others.”

Maxwell was charged as a habitual offender, as he has extensive prior criminal record consisting of seven felonies and eight misdemeanors. As pointed out by Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz, several of those convictions were for selling heroin in other cities, including Lansing and Benton Harbor.

“From the agent’s description in the presentence report and by your own admission, you appear to have been one of the most significant heroin dealers I can recall seeing here in court,” Dodge said.

Maxwell was also on parole at the time of his offense, meaning he will have to serve his newest prison sentence consecutive to any punishment he receives for violating, Dodge said.

In his statement to the court, Fitz said the defendant had been “selling poison” by distributing heroin to dealers in the area, endangering lives to earn quick and
easy money.

“More so than any other crime, drug activity compromises the long-term safety of neighborhoods,” he said. “When drug dealing becomes commonplace the community. It can take years to reverse the negative impact it has on safety, property values and lives.”

Maxwell also addressed the court, admitting that his drug dealing was done as a means of supporting himself, since he was unable to get financial assistance despite being disabled.

“Help me,” Maxwell said. “Help me. If you want me to stop, help me.”