Man sentenced for attempting to sell meth to undercover officer

CASSOPOLIS — A former Illinois resident was sentenced Monday for dealing meth after he sold to an undercover police officer.

David M. Dewitt pleaded guilty to delivery of methamphetamines and was sentenced to 24 months to 20 years in prison. He has credit for three days served and $258 in fines and costs. He also pleaded guilty to retail fraud and was ordered to pay $282.49 in fines, costs and restitution to Rural King.

The meth incident occurred Aug. 26, 2020, when he tried to sell meth to an undercover police officer with the Southwest Drug Enforcement Team. The retail fraud incident occurred Dec. 24, 2020, at the Rural King store in Niles Township.

Defense attorney Scott Sanford argued for a probation sentence instead of prison.

“Because of the nature of the substance he was trying to sell, he has a higher sentencing guideline range,” he said. “He doesn’t have an extensive criminal history and there’s no evidence he’s involved in regular drug trafficking. He was just looking to make some money.”

Berrien County Trial Judge Sterling Schrock agreed that meth charges have harsher penalties than charges for other drugs but disagreed with Sanford about Dewitt’s past record. Schrock noted that Dewitt’s sentencing guidelines called for a prison sentence.

“He’s had multiple probation and prison sentences in Illinois,” he said. “His record may be old, but it’s there. … I agree with you that the legislature has treated meth in a very harsh fashion. They need to address that.”

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