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The owner of several drug-related items uncovered during a police search last year was sentenced to probation Thursday in Gage County District Court.

Michael Johnson Jr., of Fairbury, was sentenced by Judge Julie Smith to spend 36 months on probation following the search last January.

Authorities recovered a pipe that was in a blue suitcase and detected the presence of methamphetamine. Inside a silver container was a plastic baggie with a white substance and a credit card that belonged to another man who lived with Johnson, the warrant stated. The substance was identified as cocaine. During a search of their residence at 123 N. Sumner St. in Beatrice, police located multiple pieces of drug paraphernalia, including bongs and pipes, needles, grinders and baggies. Two phones and two computers were also seized as evidence. Johnson went to the department the next day to recover his items, and admitted to using drugs.

He went to the police department after leaving Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center against medical advisement.

Prior to sentencing, defense attorney Chuck Bentjen said that Johnson has learned from his mistakes and is eager to make a fresh start.

“I would advise the court that I think this was really a lifesaving event for Mr. Johnson,” Bentjen said. “I have known him since I was appointed to represent him and I have seen tremendous progress.”

  

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