Meth made in Niles motel

Published 11:55 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2007

By By NORMA LERNER / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS – A woman found to be operating a meth lab in a Niles motel was sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.
Christina Davis, 36, of Forlers Motel, Niles, received three years probation and one year in jail for operating and maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory and a concurrent 200 days jail each for possession of marijuana and fourth-degree child abuse on April 7 when Michigan State Police investigated her residence in a room at Forlers Motel in Niles. She shared the one room with her boyfriend, James Owens, and her daughter.
Volwinkle said she was living with a dangerous man in the motel room with her daughter where components of meth making were found in the bathroom.
Davis said she wanted her daughter back in her life as her father was caring for her while she already served 124 days in jail. Her costs were $2,450.
In other sentencing:
An Edwardsburg man addicted to methamphetamine and operating a methamphetamine laboratory will spend at least seven years and up to 40 years in prison.
Jason Ryans, 27, of 27212 Redfield Road, Edwardsburg, was convicted by a jury on July 31 on five related methamphetamine convictions and was sentenced Friday morning by Circuit Court Judge Michael Dodge who said the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team found an active clandestine methamphetamine lab in a small shed on Ryans' property plus they found marijuana. "No doubt you were hooked on it, and it has ruined your life," Dodge said noting that Ryans was making the methamphetamine on Bulhand Road in Calvin Township.
Dodge said Ryans has a record of using methamphetamine also in Berrien County where he served prison time there.
Defense Attorney Dale Blunier agreed Ryans is addicted to the drug which has affected his life and family. He said he is wanting to kick the habit but "couldn't" get away from it. He was not selling it, however, Blunier pleaded.
Assistant Prosecutor Tiffiny Vohwinkle argued Ryans was making hazardous materials and cooperated with police at first but not after his arrest on Jan. 23. "He is not going to stop using it," she said in recommending 156 months of his 78 to 195 month guideline range.
Ryans received 7 to 40 years for operating a laboratory involving methamphetamine, third offense and controlled substance second; operating a lab involving hazardous waste; and manufacturing methamphetamine. He received a concurrent 57 month to 20 years for possession of methamphetamine, habitual third and controlled substance third; and 36 days jail with credit for 36 days served for possession of methamphetamine controlled substance second. His total costs were $1,095.
Ryans said he has been begging for help to break the habit and methamphetamine was a disease.
Also headed off to prison for possession with intent to deliver less than 50 grams of cocaine, second offense, was Arthur Turner III, 17, of 202 Grand Boulevard, Dowagiac who got 3 to 30 years for his May 10 offense.
The Cass County Sheriff's Department investigated a felonious assault with a firearm when they arrested Turner for possessing a baggie with four individual packs of crack cocaine.
Volwinkle said Turner used his cocaine in a dangerous way when a deal went bad and he used a weapon that looked like a gun but was a BB gun. "He tried to get people addicted to cocaine," she said.
Defense Attorney James Miller said Turner has a history and life has been difficult for him. He asked for the young man to get help to make a better life.
Turner said he needed money and was sorry.
Dodge recounted it was May 10 when the Cass County Sheriff's deputies arrested Turner at his residence and that he has a past record. His costs were $1,097.
Others sentenced were Estarr Schrock, 50, of 12615 State Road 120, Middlebury, who was employed by a large marijuana grower, James Walters of Cassopolis, who got a year in jail and three years probation on Aug. 17 for growing the marijuana on Bulhand Road. Schrock was assisting in the growing and harvesting marijuana for sale of more than 500 plants which sold for $5,000 per week in the operation. "Your participation added a significant illegal enterprise," said Dodge.
Schrock received two years concurrent probation each for possession with intent to deliver marijuana, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana over 20 plants and manufacturing marijuana plus 210 days jail. She received credit for 124 days served and $749 in costs.
Carl Kantz, 25 of 68155 Shirley Lane, Edwardsburg, received three days jail with credit for three days served for unlawful use of a motor vehicle on March 1 when he took it from a friend to use. His costs were $570.
Harold Beckum, 51, of 580 Cass St., Benton Harbor, received 300 days jail each for fleeing police, third degree, second-habitual offender, and resisting and obstructing a police officer on July 4 when police attempted to stop him for making an improper turn in Cassopolis. His costs were $120.
Brian Heath, 19, of 30210 Chevy Chase, Elkhart, Ind. received 360 days jail each for conspiracy to possess stolen property over $1,000, receiving and concealing stolen property and resisting and obstructing police on July 16 when he and two companions stole a 1992 Dodge automobile in Elkhart, Ind.
A chase led into Michigan on Michigan 60. His costs were $861.
John Bess, 21, of 300 Bank St., Elkhart, Ind. received 207 days jail for attempted possession of stolen property over $1,000 on July 5 when he stole copper wire and tools valued at approximately $10,000 with three companions from C &I Electric and Dave's Corporation in Elkhart, Ind. on July 5. His costs were $120.