21-year-old sentenced for pot operationPublished 12:02pm Thursday, November 5, 2009
By NORMA LERNER
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.