Edwardsburg man sentenced following gun, drug charges

CASSOPOLIS – Being arrested on drug and weapons charges was the best thing that has ever happened to him, Edwardsburg resident Christopher Dobransky said Friday.

Christopher Dobransky, 27, of M-62 East in Edwardsburg, pleaded guilty to four weapon and drug charges and was sentenced Friday in Cass Circuit Court to three years’ probation, 365 days in jail and $2,904 in fines, costs and restitution. He has credit for five days served and may be able to serve his jail sentence on work release.

Charges he was sentenced on were possession of ammunition by a felon, possession of a short-barreled shotgun, possession of firearms by a felon, all as a habitual offender, and possession of marijuana.

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and had a rocky road up until now,” Dobransky told Cass Circuit Judge Mark Herman. “This has really opened my eyes, and I will continue to move forward. Getting in trouble is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m sober, and I’m working.”

The incident occurred June 28 at the Edwardsburg Estates mobile home park when Dobransky lived. Police received several complaints and searched his trailer and car where they found sawed off shotguns, other shotguns, marijuana and meth.

“Obviously, this was a volatile mix of drugs and guns which can lead to tragedy and disaster,” Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said. “There needs to be concrete consequences.”

Defense attorney James Miller said the situation was the result of Dobransky being unemployed and using meth, marijuana and alcohol.

“He’s been clean and sober since his arrest and he’s in a master mechanic class,” Miller said. “He admits he was off the tracks and this has helped him get back on track, stay sober and get a job.”

Judge Herman said he would give Dobransky the benefit of the doubt and not send him to prison.

“We want to get you back the right track and I have no objection to work release,” he said. “Take this seriously. If you violate, we still have the option of sending you to prison.”

In other sentencings:

• A Dowagiac man whose twin brother was sentenced to prison for drug possession in August has the chance to stay out of prison himself and get his life back on track after being placed on probation Friday.

Brandon Jeffery Hatch, 21, of N. Front Street in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation and $1,788 in fines and costs. He has credit for 15 days already served and is subject to random drug screens.

The incident occurred Jan. 19 at a residence in the 700 block of N. Front Street in Dowagiac. Police searched the residence and found a meth lab and other components in the home and his car.

“This is a microcosm of what is an American tragedy,” Fitz said. “At age 21, he’s using one of the most dangerous drugs. He’s very, very lucky. If he was charged with manufacturing, he’d be facing prison guidelines.”

Despite the fact that his twin brother, Jared, was sentenced to prison for operating a meth lab and other charges from the same Jan. 19 incident, Brandon Hatch said he wants to prove to himself and his family that he can straighten out his life.

“I’m hopeful but guarded,” Judge Herman said. “Your twin brother and co-defendant got prison. You’re going to have to seriously look at severing your ties with your brother. He can pull you back down. If you let that happen, you will lose everything you’ve achieved.”

• An Elkhart woman who drove her boyfriend to a Dowagiac area residence two years ago which he then robbed was placed on probation Friday in exchange for her agreeing to testify against him.

Brittany Lee Grant, 28, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to receiving and concealing of stolen property over $1,000 and under $20,000 and was sentenced to three years’ probation and $1,968. She was given credit for 144 days already served. Restitution, which could be nearly $5,400, will be determined at a later date.

The incident occurred Aug. 25, 2016 at a residence in the 52000 block of M-51 N. near Dowagiac when she drove Travis Mann to the home. Items taken included a shotgun, a laptop, wedding rings, a mower and checks that were later forged.

“You said you allowed him and another man to ruin your life,” Judge Herman said. “You need to choose your friends more wisely. Up until your involvement with them, you were a pretty good citizen. Hopefully you’ve learned your lesson.”

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