Dowagiac man given probation in drug possession, drunk driving case

Published 2:30 pm Friday, November 5, 2021

CASSOPOLIS — In Cass County Court Friday, a Dowagiac man was given probation after being stopped for possession of drugs and driving while intoxicated.

Ryan Anthony Vylonis, 40, of Davis Lane in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to three years’ probation, completion of the Swift & Sure and Twin County Probation programs, credit for 125 days served and $3,178 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred July 4 when he was observed driving erratically on M-51 near Indian Lake Road and then was stopped in the parking lot at the Four Winds Casino near Dowagiac.

Judge Herman noted that Vylonis has an extensive record of five previous felony and 16 previous misdemeanor convictions.

“You’ve pretty much let drugs ruin your life,” he said. “You’ve previously been in inpatient treatment. You do well, and then you fall back. I’m willing to give you the opportunity to participate in both programs, but you need to be serious about wanting to make changes in your life. I’ve seen the programs work miracles, but if you try to only do the minimum I will probably see you back here.”

“If you are not willing to do the tough work, you’re likely to fall back into drugs and be back here,” he added. “If you fail probation, the likelihood is prison. I hope you are serious. I can’t make changes in your life, I can only give you the opportunities to do so.”

Another Dowagiac resident was given jail for possession of meth.

Austin John Narovich, 23, of East Division Street in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to second offense possession of meth and was sentenced to 270 days in jail with credit for no time served and $1,548 in fines and costs. He has no credit for time served as he is on parole from an earlier prison sentence.

The incident occurred July 16 when his probation officer made a visit to his home and found meth inside his vehicle as well as his home.

“You’re 23 years old and starting to dig yourself quite a hole,” Judge Herman said. “You were kicked out of high school. You failed to take advantage of Swift & Sure probation. If you don’t figure out soon what you want in life, you will waste your life away behind bars. … You’re a young man, please don’t waste your life on drugs.”

In other sentencings:

David Matthew Dewitt, 42, of Lakeshore Drive in Niles, pleaded guilty to possession of meth and larceny less than $200 and was sentenced to credit for 173 days already served and $1,598 in fines and costs. The incident occurred April 19 in Howard Township.

Matthew Carl Finley, 40, of Fir Road in Granger, pleaded guilty to third offense drunk driving and was sentenced to three years’ probation, 30 days jail with credit for two days served, 480 hours community service and $2,856.06 in fines, costs and restitution. He can serve his jail time over his Christmas and summer vacations from work. The incident occurred May 24, 2020, near Eagle Lake in Edwardsburg. His blood alcohol level was .251, over three times the legal limit.

Anthony Stephen Troyer, 42, formerly of Edwardsburg, pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of meth and maintaining a drug house and was sentenced to credit for 132 days served and $3,374 in fines and costs. He is currently on probation in Indiana. The stolen vehicle incident occurred April 4, 2020, in Edwardsburg, the drug incident occurred Feb. 25 in Edwardsburg.