Father-son drug team sentenced

Published 2:15 pm Saturday, October 30, 2010

handcuffs3CASSOPOLIS — It was like father like son Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.

Both Van Johnson and his son Brad Parker faced sentencings for drug-related offenses.

Parker, 20, was sentenced to a two-year probation term for possession of Vicodin, possession of marijuana and attempting to maintain a drug house.

Unfortunately for his father, methamphetamine was his drug of choice. Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Johnson to prison for 24 months to 20 years for operating and maintaining a meth lab and other meth-related offenses.

The drug house was discovered on Sept. 8 when officers from the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team conducted a search warrant on Johnson’s residence at an Edwardsburg trailer park on M-62.

Officers discovered a gas generator and evidence of one-pot meth cooking.

“You were cooking within 500 feet of other homes,” Dodge told Johnson. “Blowing up a meth lab in a trailer park is not a good thing.”

Johnson’s defense attorney Gregory Feldman said meth use is all too common for people who have lost their job, which was the case for Johnson.

Feldman says they turn to meth “to make money or to solve boredom problems.”

“He wants to learn how to get out of the hole he’s dug himself,” Feldman said.

For his part, Johnson was apologetic.

“I’m sorry for wasting your time, money and resources,” a tearful Johnson told the judge.

Prosecutor Victor Fitz told Parker he is lucky he is not joining his father in prison, since a gun was found in the residence and could have resulted in a felony firearm charge.

“Hopefully you’ve learned your lesson and won’t be back here again,” Dodge said to Parker.