Jestila makes plea deal

HOUGHTON – The former owner of Backroom Multientertainment in Houghton reached a plea agreement Tuesday that prohibits him from doing business in Houghton County again.

Michael Jestila, 46, pleaded guilty to four counts of distributing marijuana to a minor, an eight-year felony. He said he gave a cousin marijuana from his desk at his residence in January.

“I was smoking, then he asked ‘Could I have some?’ and I passed the pipe … in the rest of the evening, he passed the pipe to his three friends,” he said.

In return for the plea, numerous other charges were dismissed, including the 20-year felony of possession of 50 to 449 grams of cocaine, heroin or other narcotics. Jestila must also forfeit the Backroom building to Houghton, and can no longer do business within the county.

Jestila’s charges date back to last December, when police say dozens of packets of materials seized in a search at Backroom tested positive for chemicals commonly contained in bath salts, as well as hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Jestila faced similar charges in Marquette County, where a criminal charge, a nuisance complaint and a pair of forfeiture actions were dropped in exchange for him never doing business in the county again.

Jestila must also give up claims towards personal property at the building.

Property and cash were seized, although Jestila will be allowed to retain computers from the site to complete his taxes.

Sentencing guidelines for Jestila were unknown as of Tuesday. As part of the agreement, he will be limited to county jail time.

His sentencing is scheduled to take place in about four weeks.