Two sentenced for meth crimes

Published 7:36 am Monday, May 9, 2016

Two Cass County women who were arrested following raids by the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team earlier this year finally faced punishment for their methamphetamine activity Friday in Cass County Court.

While a Dowagiac woman received a second chance from the judge to get clean, another woman from Union was ordered to spend time in a Michigan prison time after squandering hers.

In the first case, Cass County Circuit Court Judge Michael Dodge sentenced 27-year-old Rose Marie Morris, of Dowagiac, to two years of probation on charges of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture methamphetamine, operating/maintaining a lab involving methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.

As part of her probation sentence, Morris must participate in drug rehabilitation services through the Family Treatment Court program.

Morris pleaded guilty to the charges imposed on her on March 14.

The Dowagiac woman was arrested on Jan. 7, after detectives with the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team executed a search warrant on her residence on Division Street inside the city limits. During the search of the home, police discovered several one-pot methamphetamine labs and materials that are used to make the substance. Authorities also discovered methamphetamine paraphernalia.

According to Dodge, Morris admitted to purchasing pseudoephedrine, a critical component used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, several days before the bust, which was later used by someone else to produce drugs that she later used.

Assistant Prosecutor Tiffiny Vohwinkle asked the judge to sentence Morris in line with the plea agreement she had made with the prosecutor’s office, that would allow her to avoid prison in exchange for her participation in rehabilitation. Both Vohwinkle and Morris’ attorney, Robert Drake, told the judge they felt she would be a suitable candidate for treatment, especially given the fact that failure could jeopardize her ability to see her children, they said.

“When children are involved, parents are often more motivated by their children than threat of incarceration,” Drake said.

Union’s Marina Carol Cloud, a former graduate of the Adult Treatment Court program, did not receive the same leniency as Morris.

Cloud, 50, was sentenced by Dodge to a minimum of one year to a maximum of 20 years in prison that morning, on a charge of passion of methamphetamine. She pleaded guilty to the charge March 18.

Cloud, along with her codefendant, 47-year-old Basil Rowe, of Edwardsburg, were arrested Feb. 20 after drug team detectives executed a search warrant on her residence on Kessington Road in Mason Township. The search uncovered meth and meth paraphernalia inside the home.

Cloud was on probation at the time for four prior methamphetamine charges, all of which arose from a single incident in 2013. Last year, she was successfully discharged from Adult Treatment Court, Dodge said.

In her statement to the court, Cloud said she had been active in her rehabilitation efforts since her discharge from ATC, but had relapsed after the drug was presented to her, as she had been dealing with several family deaths at the time, she said.

“I ask that you take into consideration the good I’ve done, not just the one mistake I’ve made,” Cloud said.

In spite of her plea, Dodge said the woman was no longer a suitable candidate for probation, and instead sentenced her to the same prison sentence imposed her codefendant last month.

Cloud was given 28 days credit for time already served.

Also sentenced Friday:

• Clara Ann Peters, 57, of Dowagiac, to 150 days in jail and two years of probation for possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of analogues and possession of marijuana.

• Mario Reyna, 30, of Dowagiac, to 300 days in jail for possession of analogues.

• Robert Anthony Curtis Sr., 51, of Vandalia, to one year of probation for possession of marijuana.