Niles man sentenced for possession of ammunition

Published 4:18 pm Monday, May 23, 2022

NILES — A Niles man will have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk if he plans to be successful on probation. Those were the words from Berrien County Trial Judge Sterling Schrock as he sentenced Gregory Fuzi for possession of ammunition by a felon. 

Fuzi, 39, pleaded guilty to possession of ammunition by a felon and was sentenced Monday in Berrien County Trial Court to three years probation in the Swift & Sure Program. He must serve 100 days in jail with credit for 51 days already served, ordered to pay $598 and forfeit the ammunition. 

He can serve the remainder of the jail term in the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program. He must complete the KPEP program as part of successful completion of the Swift & Sure Probation. 

The incident occurred April 3 when his vehicle was stopped at Walton Road and M-139 in Niles Township. 

“Have you ever heard the phrase that you have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk?” Judge Schrock asked Fuzi. “Now you’re just a talker and you’ve painted yourself into a corner where most people don’t believe you. You have to start taking responsibility for everything that happens.” 

“What kind of example are you setting for your children?” the judge asked. “I want to give you some food for thought. I’ve hard many defendants say that they’re tired and don’t want to live like this any more. Sometimes it’s just a line they feed me. I will give you the chance to prove that you can walk the walk or you will end up in prison.” 

Judge Schrock said the goals of the probation sentence are to stop Fuzi’s repetitive criminal behavior as well as address his substance abuse issues and residential instability. The probation will also have the goal of addressing Fuzi’s criminal thinking and stabilize him economically with gainful employment. 

The judge noted that Fuzi’s past criminal record included false informing, forging a license plate, possession of stolen property, driving while license suspended and disturbing the peace. 

Before sentencing Fuzi to probation, Judge Schrock outlined some of the reasons why he could have cause to sentence him to prison. “I don’t usually give defendants the opportunity to know what I’m thinking,” he said. 

“Felons with guns and/or ammunition are nothing but trouble,” he said. “You’re dangerous and we have to protect society from that and there’s only one place where that can be accomplished.”