Archived Story

Cassopolis man caught in tree-selling scam

Published 11:37am Friday, September 27, 2013

CASSOPOLIS — A Cassopolis man who scammed two area lumber mills won’t see any jail time, but will have to pay at least $7,500 in restitution.

Bradley Pletcher, 28, of Tharp Lake Road in Cassopolis, negotiated the sale of several trees to two area lumber mills. The problem was that Pletcher didn’t have the authority to sell the trees because they weren’t his.

Combined, the lumber mills paid Pletcher $7,500 for the trees, only to find out later they couldn’t cut the trees down.

Pletcher pleaded guilty to felony larceny of more than $1,000. Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Pletcher to two years probation Friday in Cass County Circuit Court. Pletcher was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,500.

Pletcher had no prior criminal record.

The charge carried a maximum five-year penalty, but sentencing guidelines called for between zero to three months in jail.

Also Friday, a Cassopolis teenager who vandalized a Cass County elementary school and Cass County golf course in the summer of 2012 was sentenced to prison after violating probation.

Dalton Smith, 18, was sentenced in December to three years of probation and 210 days in jail for vandalizing Squires Elementary School and Park Shore Golf Course in the summer of 2012. More than $15,000 worth of damage was done by Smith and three other co-defendants.

Smith completed his jail sentence, but afterward violated several terms of probation, which resulted in him being re-sentenced Friday. Dodge ordered Smith to serve 18 months in the Michigan Department of Corrections with credit for 349 days already served.

Also Friday:

• Brian Kujawa, 32, of Niles, was sentenced to 18 months probation and two days in jail with credit for two days served. He was caught in May with several prescription drugs and marijuana after an officer pulled over his vehicle on Clair Street in Edwardsburg.

• Benjamin Eby, 18, of Elkhart, was sentenced to three years in prison on the most serious charge of conspiracy to commit home invasion. He and a co-defendant broke into a home on M-62 in Edwardsburg in July and stole several items.

• Carrie Wack, 32, of Granger, was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to successfully complete the Cass County Adult Treatment Court on several meth-related charges. The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team caught her with more than 50 one-pot meth labs at a residence on Follmer Road in Niles in June.

• Martell Jackson, 23, of Grand Rapids received 150 days in jail after he was caught with marijuana during a traffic stop on Yankee Street in Niles in August 2012.

• Britia Anderson, 32, of Cassopolis, was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to successfully complete a drug treatment court in Kalamazoo on several meth-related charges. The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team found a meth lab at her residence on Point Road in Cassopolis in June.

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