Weapons, Cocaine, Marijuana, & Missing Handrail among Concerns that Led to Group Home Closure

Weapons, Cocaine, Marijuana, & Missing Handrail among Concerns that Led to Group Home Closure

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 21, 2018)

Holly, MI- The lives of five elderly and disabled residents were, until yesterday, in the care of a family that authorities say were using their adult foster care facility as a front for selling drugs.

On Aug. 20, the Michigan Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announced the license suspension of Carters White House, operated by was Carter Country Homes Inc. (license AS630081335) located at 1288 Essay Lane in Holly.

According to LARA documents, the residents of the home included those who are physically disabled, mentally disabled, developmentally disabled, and/or those with Alzheimer’s. At least one was bed-ridden.

Owner Angela Cockerham was ordered to suspend operation and the residents were transferred to other state-licensed facilities.

She is facing a charge of possession of cocaine, while her husband Russell Cocheram is facing drug and weapons related charges.

According to a LARA press release, “The Case Summary stated that beginning in January of 2018 deputies assigned to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Team received complaints of the sale of cocaine by Russell Cockerham…. OCSO deputies made controlled purchases of cocaine from Russell Cockerham from inside of the facility.

“On Aug. 2, 2018 OCSO deputies executed a search warrant of the facility in the early morning hours, entered the facility through an unlocked front door, and located and secured five adult foster care residents.  OCSO deputies located and secured Russell Cockerham and Angela Cockerham in the 2nd floor unlocked bedroom.  A loaded unsecured firearm was recovered from the nightstand closest to Russell Cockerham, a previously convicted felon.

“During this search warrant the facility residents approached OCSO deputies on the scene and informed them that Russell Cockerham frequently smokes marijuana in the facility and they reported having trouble sleeping because of all the drug sales that occur at the facility throughout the night.

“During the search of the facility OCSO deputies found and seized cocaine, scales, packaging materials consistent with drug trafficking approximately five pounds of marijuana packaged for sale and multiple firearms accessible to any occupants of the facility.  OCSO arrested and charged Russell Cockerham with multiple felony drug delivery charges and weapons charges and Angela Cockerham was charged with felony possession of cocaine.”  They also founds guns in the bedroom of Cockerham’s adult son who was living there without LARA having been notified.

According to the release, “In total, LARA’s Notice of Intent to Summarily Suspend and Revoke is alleging four violations of the Adult Foster Care Facility Licensing Act. The severity of the allegations resulted in the joint summary suspension and the notice of intent to revoke the license.

Specifically, as outlined in the order:

-The licensee, Angela Cockerham, was charged with felony possession of cocaine by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office (OSCO).

-The licensee’s husband, Russell Cockerham, was arrested and charged with multiple felony drug delivery and weapons charges by the OSCO. These alleged crimes happened at the adult foster care home. Mr. Cockerham appeared to be living at the home but was not listed as an adult household member.

-The licensee failed to inform LARA that her adult children were residing at the licensed facility, as required by statute.

-The licensee failed to provide a physically safe environment for adults in care.

“Based on these allegations, LARA took emergency action to protect the health, welfare, and safety of vulnerable adults.”

Prior to the drug-related arrests, a March 16, 2018 inspection by LARA found violations in the home, but recommended a plan of action to remedy them. Violations included:

-Not being able to verify TB test results of owner and staff.

-Four resident files lacked the required health care appraisal on file from within the past year.

-For one resident, daily medication had not been properly tracked.

-For four residents, PNRs (medicine given as needed) were administered but the reason and the reactions were not documented.

-Bathrooms both upstairs and downstairs lacked paper towel.

-No hand rail on back porch (repeat violation).

-Side door egress did not have proper hardware.

-Dryer did not have metal duct.

Russell Cockerham was arrested on Aug. 2 during the raid.  On Aug. 8 Angela Cockerham turned herself in and was released on bond. Court dates are pending for both.

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