Florida man ordered to pay fine in Londonderry drug case
BRENTWOOD - A Florida man charged with storing a cache of marijuana at a Londonderry home may have avoided jail time but had to pay a $10,000 fine as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Michael Mecke pleaded guilty to possession of a narcotic drug and possession of a controlled drug with intent to sell on Jan. 28, the day he was expected to go on trial in Rockingham County Superior Court. He was given a suspended 1½- to 3-year prison sentence.
Mecke, 38, of New Smyrna, Fla., was arrested by Londonderry police in September 2011 after his father reported him to police, saying his son was storing marijuana and oxycodone in his home, prosecutors said. The father, Michael Mecke Sr., had been renting the home from his son and got into an argument with him over storing a half-pound of marijuana inside a couch, police said. Londonderry police executed a search warrant at the home and found $41,000 in cash and drugs. Michael Mecke Sr. became a key witness in the case against his son but died in April from "sudden fatal cardiac arrhythmia," prosecutors said.
Prosecutors asked to put off Mecke's trial late last year so they could reassess their case after the death of Michael Mecke Sr., but the charges were ultimately settled through a negotiated plea agreement.
The father told police he had his own troubles with the law because of his son's drug business, prosecutors said.
Mecke Sr. was arrested in Nebraska in March 12, 2011, after police discovered he was carrying 58 pounds of marijuana in the Ford pickup he was driving along Interstate 80. He was involved in a fender-bender with a semi-truck which prompted state police to respond to the crash, according to court records and news accounts of the incident.
The elder Mecke told Londonderry police he was on a drug run for his son when he was arrested, according to a petition filed in federal court. Federal prosecutors won permission from a judge to seize Mecke's home in Londonderry and $41,000 in cash found while executing the search warrant.