Dowagiac man gets 2 years for stealing 19 gunsPublished 10:20am Saturday, June 8, 2013
CASSOPOLIS — A 27-year–old Dowagiac man will spend the next two years in prison for stealing 19 guns from a local hardware store.
Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Laban Pond to two years in the Michigan Department of Corrections on a felony firearms charge Friday in Cass County Circuit Court. Those convicted of a felony firearms charge must serve a mandatory penalty of two years in prison.
On April 29, Pond pleaded guilty to 40 charges stemming from an incident Jan. 16 2012 at Hale’s Hardware in Dowagiac.
Pond and a co-defendant broke into Hale’s Hardware and stole 19 handguns, of which only two were recovered.
“Some are for target practice, but ultimately guns are made to kill,” said Prosecutor Victor Fitz, “and this defendant, by his actions, put those on the street and has compromised the safety of southwest Michigan.”
Pond had a limited criminal history with just one prior conviction for operating a motor vehicle while impaired in 2007.
Pond was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,292.
Also Friday, Vicki Blaisdell, 55, of Edwardsburg was sentenced to a year in Cass County Jail and two years probation on meth-related charges. Blaisdell’s husband, Scott, was sentenced last month to four years in prison for the same incident.
The couple was found making and using meth at their Edwardsburg home.
The difference between the two was that Scott went to trial and was found guilty, while Vicki struck a plea deal with the prosecutor’s office, dropping the most serious charges.
Also Friday, Kevin Deming, 56, of South Bend, Ind., was sentenced to a year in jail for operating a vehicle while intoxicated on M-62 in Edwardsburg. Dodge said Deming, whose blood alcohol level was .22, admitted to downing a couple pitchers of beer. It is at least Deming’s 14th alcohol-related offense, according to Fitz.