Area residents sentenced on drug charges

CASSOPOLIS — Friday in Cass County Court, several area residents were sentenced on drug charges.

Sonya Louise Baker, 40, of Zielke Road in Niles, pleaded guilty to possession of meth and possession of cocaine as a habitual offender and was sentenced to 365 days in jail with credit for 73 days served. She must pay $1,616 in fines and costs. Her driver’s license was suspended for one year.

She also had her probation revoked from a previous drug case. She was sentenced to 365 days in jail with credit for 306 days already served. The jail terms are concurrent.

The most recent incident occurred March 6, 2020, at a residence on Zielke Road in the Niles area. Baker’s probation agent did a home check and found her in a nearby home passed out with a meth pipe, cocaine and meth next to her.

Judge Herman noted that Baker is also facing two pending cases in Berrien County. She has had her probation revoked twice and expelled from the Swift and Sure program.

“You’ve thrown away every opportunity for help offered, and you’re now asking for treatment court,” the judge said. “If I see you back, it’s likely your next step will be prison.”

Jacob Robert Miller, 29, of Sherwood in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to possession of meth and was sentenced to 365 days in jail with credit for 101 days already served. He must pay $1,548 in fines and costs and have his license suspended for one year.

The incident occurred June 7 in Dowagiac.

He also had his probation revoked from an earlier case and was sentenced to a concurrent 365 days in jail with credit for 175 days served.

Judge Herman told Miller that “talk is cheap” and that he has to follow up his words about taking care of his children by getting treatment for his drug addiction.

Stephanie Nicole Waldron, 25, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to use of meth, delivery/manufacture of meth and possession of meth and was sentenced to three years’ probation in Adult Treatment Court, credit for 97 days served and $2,696 in fines and costs on the delivery and possession charges and credit for time served and $625 in fines and costs on the use of meth charge. Her license was suspended for one year.

The use of meth incident occurred Nov. 8, 2019, in Cassopolis with the other incidents occurring Sept. 3, 2020, at Five Points/State Line Road in Edwardsburg.

“You need to take the program seriously or you will go to prison,” Judge Herman said.

Wayne Leroy Ottinger, 45, of Halstead in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of meth second offense and was sentenced to three years’ probation in the Adult Treatment Court, credit for time served and $2,696 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred March 3 and March 10 in Dowagiac. Judge Herman noted that Ottinger now has six felony convictions and had previously spent time in prison in Texas.

In another sentencing, Patrick Ryan Stahl, 24, of Topeka, Indiana, pleaded guilty to possession of burglar tools, possession of a weapon by a felon, carrying a concealed weapon and two counts of use of a weapon in the commission of a felony and was sentenced to credit for time served on the weapon and burglar tool counts and two years in prison on the two felony firearms counts.

This case was adjourned from July when defense attorney Robert Drake questioned where Stahl would be getting the credit for 428 days served. Judge Herman ruled Friday that the credit for time served would be on the two prison terms.

The incident occurred June 18, 2020, in Mason Township.

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