Two arraigned in largest fentanyl bust in county history

Two Marquette County residents have been arraigned in 11th Circuit Court for the largest bust of fentanyl in Alger County history, with the pair moving 28 grams of fentanyl and over 50 grams of methamphetamine.

Natalie Sue Larson of Marquette and Philip James Turner of Gwinn were arraigned on Wednesday, March 8 as codefendants for seven different charges.

According to court documents, Turner is facing one count of delivery/ manufacturing methamphetamine, one count of delivery/ manufacturing a schedule 1, 2 or 3 substance for the fentanyl, one count of possession of a controlled substance for cocaine found on his person and one count of assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer. This would be the second possession charge for Turner, doubling the maximum penalty, and a habitual offender fourth offense is also in play for the obstruction charge, which could put him in jail for life.

Larson is also facing one count each of delivery/manufacturing methamphetamine and fentanyl, but has one count of harboring a felon. This originated from allegedly lying about Turner’s identity to the arresting officers during the bust. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years, seven years and four years, respectively, for the three counts.

The bust happened on or about February 2, 2023, when Michigan State Police officers stopped a vehicle in Eastern Munising Township on M-28. Larson was the driver and Turner was the passenger. The pair waived preliminary exams, expediting the legal process through 93rd District Court before ending up at the 11th Circuit Court motion day on Wednesday.

Turner remains remanded in Alger County Jail while Larson was released on bond. Larson was not present for the hearing on Wednesday with her whereabouts unknown at the time of the hearing. Either a bench warrant could be issued in accordance with newer state criminal justice proceedings or her attorney could obtain a waiver of arraignment, according to court proceedings.

Larson, Turner and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.