Archived Story

Traffic stop leads to meth discovery

Published 3:02pm Wednesday, August 5, 2009

By NORMA LERNER
Cassopolis Vigilant

CASSOPOLIS – A Stevensville man who fled police in Marcellus because meth was in his car got 6 1/2 years to 20 for operating and maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory.

It is a second offense for 30-year-old Jeremy Timmons, 2162 Charles Drive, Stevensville, who was imposed the prison sentence Friday morning in Cass County Circuit Court by Judge Michael Dodge.

It was March 31 while Timmons was driving his car on Burlington Road, Marcellus, and was spotted by police for having an illegally tinted driver’s window. When police activated the lights and siren, Timmons fled and went into Van Buren County. Other police joined in the pursuit and at times he went up to 65 miles-per hour in a 25-mile zone in Lawton.

“You admitted you should not have been driving. You had no valid (driver’s) license, and you were under the influence of meth,” Dodge recalled. He said there was evidence of meth making found in the vehicle.

Dodge noted Timmons had six felonies and six misdemeanors. However, Dodge noted Timmons has done well during a previous jail term by attending a treatment program, going to chapel and reading the Bible, but he could find no reason to deviate below the guideline range of 78 to 162 months. “I am sentencing you at the bottom. It’s the best I can do. You know you can’t go back to meth,” he warned. He did say Timmons might get out earlier for good behavior.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Frank Machnik said Timmons was a high risk to citizens in Cass County.

Defense Attorney James Jessie said Timmons understands his problem and has received treatment.

Timmons said he was sorry for the trouble he caused. His costs were $578.

In another Marcellus incident involving drugs, Seth Keeslar, 34, 51960 Lawrence Road, received two years probation plus 180 days jail for habitual-second manufacturing marijuana.

It was March 20 when Keeslar’s house was searched by the Southwestern Enforcement Team who discovered 40 marijuana plants and related items.

“You admitted you had been producing it for you own use so you didn’t have to buy it. You gave some away to friends,” Dodge recounted. He added Keeslar did cooperate.
Defense Attorney Gary Stewart pleaded that Keeslar attended a substance abuse program, has worked all of his life and is attending Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac and has two tests in applied science coming up. Dodge deferred his jail time for one week to take the test and must turn himself in to jail at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7. Dodge allowed tether if Keeslar qualified. His cost is $1,278.

In other sentencings:
• Richard Daggitt, 51, 38430 County Road 352, Decatur, got three-years probation for operating and maintaining a methamphetamine lab on Rudy Road, Dowagiac, on May 11. Daggitt’s vehicle was stopped by police at 3:30 a.m. for a defective headlight. Police noticed a gas generator in the front-seat floor and powdered meth in the trunk. He is to pay $2,175 costs.

• Stephen Whiting, 25, 141 Quince Road, Benton Harbor, also went to prison for 57 months to 10 years each  for assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder on March 17 for discharging a firearm through a door without seeing who was on the other side and for felony firearm at a residence on Twin Lake Road, Cassopolis. He got a consecutive  28 months to 5 years for carrying a weapon with unlawful  intent.

Defense attorney Sidney Tall, III, said his client has accepted responsibility for his actions. He has made mistakes but has a chance to rehabilitate in asking for the low end of his range and for boot camp. Whiting is to pay $646 costs.

• Forty-six year-old Robert Montgomery whose address is the Cass County Jail got 300 days jail less credit for 54 days served for aggravated indecent exposure in the women’s  bathroom of the Family Fare Store in Dowagiac on May 9.

Defense attorney Lawrence Quigley said Montgomery is a decent person when he is not drinking. He wishes to seek counseling, he said. He is to pay $128 costs.

• Emiliano Varrios Jr., 28, 1201 County Road 15, Elkhart, Ind. received 365 days jail for third-degree fleeing police and a concurrent 93 days jail for operating a vehicle while under the influence of liquor on Feb. 28 on Elkhart Road, Edwardsburg.

It was 2:15 a.m. when Varrios left the Escape Realty strip club at Pleasant Lake in Edwardsburg and was being stopped by police for erratic  driving when he took off. He drove at 120 miles per hour before crashing into a fence at the Elkhart Airport.

His blood alcohol level was 0.20 percent. “That’s high,” Dodge said, noting he has had five felony convictions as a juvenile and three more  as an adult with charges pending in Elkhart County. He is to pay $211 costs.

• Denise Lear, 29, 30831 Michigan-152, Dowagiac, received two-years probation plus six months suspended jail for possession of analogues, Zanax prescription, on April 14 in Dowagiac without a prescription. She is to pay $498 costs.

Her jail term will be dropped if she complies with probation terms.

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