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Man convicted of gun theft to feed drug habit given sentence, will serve jail time

Published 4:18pm Thursday, June 17, 2010

By AARON MUELLER
Cassopolis Vigilant

A man who stole guns from his stepfather to feed a drug addiction faced his sentencing Friday at Cass County Circuit Court.

Ryan Balok, of Mishawaka, received a 270-day jail sentence with credit for 52 days served for larceny in the Cassopolis residence of Gregory Conery.

Conery requested a local sentence for his stepson and did not demand restitution.
“He was stealing from his stepfather who was an ally and his biggest cheerleader for him,” prosecutor Victor Fitz said. “He put guns out on the street that can lead to deaths. If he continues to mix drugs and guns in Cass County, he will be in prison for a long time.”

Conery contacted the Cass County Sheriff’s Department in July 2009 to report his missing guns and said he suspected his stepson. Balok would then admit to the crime while he was in jail in Indiana.

Balok said he was addicted to pain pills and “so screwed up on drugs” that he stole the guns from Conery in order to sell them for drug money.

Balok was apologetic in his statements before his sentencing.

“I apologize to the court, my girl and my family,” he said. “I’ve been locked up for nine months and have four little girls with my fiance. I want to hurry up and get home to get a job and go to school.”

Balok is also facing an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Florida.

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