A 37-year-old Mancelona man will be spending 68 to 240 months in prison for breaking into the ski lodge at Mount McSauba and a room at an area hotel.
On Feb. 19, 33rd Circuit Court, Judge Roy C. Hayes III sentenced Johnny Ray Rossman, to the prison term.
Rossman was convicted by guilty plea on Jan. 8 of two counts of breaking and entering with intent and one count of larceny in a building. Rossman was also sentenced as a habitual offender, fourth, which doubled his maximum potential sentence.
He was also ordered to pay $17,655 in restitution to the City of Charlevoix and $990 to AmericInn Lodge and Suites.
According to an affidavit by police filed in the case, on Monday, July 20, 2020, workers at the Mt. McSauba summer camp in Charlevoix reported for work and noticed that someone had broken into the ski lodge. It appeared that the intruder had removed a screen and entered through a window.
An ATV, two computers, a cash register and binoculars were reported stolen. The intruder also damaged the lodge computer system and equipment.
Later that same morning, AmericInn reported someone had broken into one of their hotel rooms and also into a laundry room where $100 to $250 was stolen.
Witnesses later led police to a location where the ATV had been crashed and stolen items were dropped, and also to discovery of the ATV itself, leading to Rossman’s arrest.
Rossman’s fingerprints were found in the ski lodge and stolen items were found in the hotel room, tying the two crime scenes together.
“This was excellent police work, piecing this all together,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said in a press release after the sentencing. “Deputies Sam Stewart and Alec Sheets and Detectives Ben Speigl and Cody Wheat were instrumental in solving this case. They also relied upon citizens coming forward with valuable information.”
According to court records, Rossman had previously been convicted of seven felonies and two misdemeanors.
At the sentencing, Telgenhof read from a letter written by Kent Knorr, City of Charlevoix recreation director. Knorr said, “The impact of this break-in extended beyond the staff and campers to include many in the community of Charlevoix. …Camp McSauba has been an institution since its founding in 1976. It has always been a safe place for the community and children of the community.”
“Burglaries carry a thread of violation to the victims. This incident extended that sense of violation to many in the community who value the safety and traditions of Mt. McSauba. All the items that were stolen, lost and damaged are dwarfed by the feeling of violation and trespass felt by the break in.”