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21-year-old sentenced for pot operation

Published 12:02pm Thursday, November 5, 2009

By NORMA LERNER
Edwardsburg Argus

A 21-year-old Edwardsburg man was told Friday morning in Cass County Circuit Court that he was intelligent and should know better than to be involved in controlled substances and must face the consequences with jail time.

Matthew Stringfellow of 68065 Hess Rd. was told by Judge Michael Dodge that when he gets out of jail after serving 60 days he would realize what a pleasure it is to have freedom.

Dodge gave him a chance to see how he does on probation for two years and will be tested for drugs during that time. He was also allowed work release since he is working as an electrician.

The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team executed a search warrant Aug. 28 at his mother’s residence on Hess Road. They found evidence of growing, using and delivering marijuana and that he was in possession of a stolen police department duty bag. He said he had been using marijuana for some time, and it will be determined if he has developed an addiction during his probation period.

Prosecutor Victor Fitz agreed that Stringfellow should know better and that marijuana is not just a harmless drug. He also has a prior record for malicious destruction of property, Fitz noted.

Stringfellow’s convictions were for controlled substances; delivery and manufacturing marijuana; receiving and concealing stolen property under $200; and attempted maintaining a drug house.

Defense attorney Dale Blunier said the stolen property turned out to be a prank that went bad. He has been helping his mother take care of his father who had a severe heart attack. He is a hard worker and regrets what he has done, he said. He is taking an Alcoholics Anonymous class. “I think it’s a wake up call for Matt,” he said.

Stringfellow apologized and said he made bad decisions and would like to be with his father and mother. His costs totaled $1,159.

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  • Erin

    He has been helping his grandparents – not his mother – take care of his father, who’s currently receiving medical care in Chicago.

  • Penny Stringfellow

    Please make it known that there needs to be a correction to this article. Matthew’s mother is NOT taking care of his father. His father’s parents and other close family members are taking care of his father. Just because Matthew’s mother was there at court doesn’t mean she is helping to take care of him. His father and his mother have been divorced for many years. This is quite a slap in the face for his immediate family who has been going through a lot and sacrificed a lot to help take care of him.
    Please retract this statement and reissue a correction.
    Thank you.

  • Jill Stewart

    I just had to say I was quite shocked to see that Matt and his mother are “taking care of” his father. Being a friend of the family I know for a fact that that is not truly the case. Don’t get me wrong I am sure Matt cares about his father, and wants to help all he can. The fact of the matter is however, that Brian’s parents, sister, brother, and a couple close family members are the ones taking care of everything. Not Matt’s mother! I just wanted to clarify that, seeing as the article was very misleading. I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

  • Doug Stringfellow

    If you are going to report a story, lets get the facts straight !Matthew is helping his Family take care of his Dad. His Mother has been divorced from his father, for many years. Alcohol, was not a issue in this case, why would Matthew be going to “Alcohlics Anonymous”?

  • brian stringfelow

    hello i would just like you to know that Mats mom is not takng care of me .My mother and father and the rest of my family are working very hard to help me thru this heart attack, I was divorced from Matts mom in 92/93 Thank you, Brian Stringfellow

  • Ryan

    Victor Fritz (prosecutor) couldn’t be more wrong. Marijuana is a harmless drug, when used responsibly. Lets all remember that the prohibition of marijuana has been more costly to our society than it could if it were legal.

    The prohibition of alcohol, even by law enforcement agents own admissions, was a terrible failure and led to the increased popularity, money and power of violent people like Al Capone.

    I seriously doubt Stringfellow is a dangerous individual and I can’t believe the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team doesn’t have better and more dangerous criminals to investigate spend tax payer money on.

    Stringfellow worked (formerly, I’m sure) as an electrician, helped support his parents and has never been involved with another crime, other than a prank gone bad.

    Is Cass County not full of meth? Is it not full of thieves? Or identity thefts? Come on Cass County law enforcement, lets get dangerous people off the streets……not some kid who sells marijuana while supporting his ailing family.

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