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Surprise Noble court appearance nets guilty pleas

An Albion man wasn't exactly expected in court today, but Noble County Prosecutor Steven Clouse said Randall L. Katz showed up and pleaded guilty to 11 drug-related charges.

The 45-year-old "appeared unexpectedly" on Thursday in Noble Circuit Court, Clouse said in a statement. He said Katz had previously been scheduled for jury trials to begin April 15 and June 10.

Instead, he will be sentenced on Feb. 13 on charges that include dealing in methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of a handgun with obliterated identification marks, corrupt business influence (racketeering), class possession of methamphetamine with a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of a legend drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting law enforcement.

If Judge David Laur accepts the plea agreement, Clouse said Katz will receive a total of 20 years in prison.

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