MIchael Lipsitz

Lipsitz pleads guilty to bringing alcohol or drugs into a prison

By Matthew Cabe, Staff Writer
Posted Nov. 5, 2015 at 7:43 PM

VICTORVILLE — A former aide to San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos accused of trying to smuggle drugs into a jail pleaded guilty Thursday to one felony charge as part of a plea deal, court records show.

Michael Lipsitz originally pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of bringing a controlled substance into a jail in April, but he agreed to plead guilty to one count of bringing alcohol or drugs into a prison as part of a deal that dropped the second charge.

Lipsitz — who was out on bail leading up to Thursday’s hearing — was sentenced to 120 days at the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center beginning Dec. 18 and 36 months of supervised probation. He received two days of time served and is eligible for a conduct credit that would cut his remaining jail term in half, according to court records.

Lipsitz was arrested in February on suspicion of sneaking narcotics into Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center after deputies caught him in the act as he provided drugs to inmate Joshua Rhodes, authorities told the Daily Press in a previous report.

Rhodes, 26, also entered into a plea bargain Thursday and pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession of a controlled substance in prison, court records show. He was sentenced to two years in county prison but received credit for 275 days of time served plus an additional 274 days knocked off for good behavior.

Like Lipsitz, Rhodes is also eligible for a conduct credit to serve half of his remaining sentence, according to court records.

During an investigation into drugs being brought into the facility conducted prior to Lipsitz’s arrest, deputies discovered that Lipsitz was a frequent Rhodes visitor and identified Lipsitz as the “person responsible for bringing narcotics to inmate Rhodes,” officials said in a statement released at the time.

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