Saturday, January 8, 2022
An attorney convicted of drug offenses has been suspended for three years by consent by a tri-county hearing panel of the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board.
Pioneer reported extensively on the criminal matter per Bradley Massman
Police reports show an attorney, formerly based in Mecosta County, trafficked methamphetamine and accepted various controlled substances from clients she represented as a form of payment.
Amy Lynn Panek, of Mount Pleasant, is currently serving a nine-month sentence in the Mecosta County jail for one count of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine. The now-45-year-old was arrested last year following a Michigan State Police investigation.
"In light of the breadth of your involvement in the distribution of drugs in the Mecosta County area, I do find that a nine-month jail sentence is appropriate,” Ionia County Circuit Judge Suzanne Hoseth-Kreeger said at Panek’s sentencing in February.
The recommended sentence by the probation department, according to the judge, was 90 days.
The case surfaced in December 2019 when Central Michigan Enforcement Team agents received an anonymous tip regarding Panek and drug trafficking, according to a Michigan State Police report obtained by the Pioneer through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The anonymous caller told authorities, “Amy Panek … just got $7,000 of cocaine and meth,” according to the report.
After receiving the tip, CMET agents began surveilling Panek, who, at the time, was an attorney working at a Big Rapids-based law office.
A month later, in January 2020, CMET agents received a tip from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office. An inmate in the Mecosta County jail told a deputy that Panek was involved in trafficking methamphetamine in and around Mecosta County, the police report states.
That same month, the sheriff’s office arrested a man on drug charges. During his interview with police, he admitted to selling controlled substances and identified one of his customers as a “lawyer in Mecosta County,” the report states.
The man told authorities that Panek would get drugs from him almost every day prior to his arrest, according to the report. The man also said Panek introduced him to a “source” in Lansing, the report states.