Dowagiac man sentenced to prison for drug distribution

Published 6:00 pm Friday, July 29, 2022

CASSOPOLIS – A Dowagiac man involved in dealing drugs is going to prison after being sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court. 

Frank Mitchell, 41, of Allen Street in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to conducting a criminal enterprise and delivery/manufacture of cocaine less than 50 grams-both as a habitual offender and was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 39 months to 30 years in prison. He must pay $1,766 in fines and costs and has credit for three days served. 

The incident occurred July 14, 2020 in Dowagiac.  Police searched his home and found scales, drug residue and baggies. The 39 month prison sentence was the result of a plea agreement between the prosecutor’s office and Mitchell’s attorney. 

Defense attorney Robert Drake said that the 39 month sentence was below the minimal sentencing guideline of six years in prison but noted that the guidelines were high in large part due to his client’s past record. 

“I take responsibility for everything I did,” Mitchell said. “I’ve made mistakes in my life. If I could, I would go back and do things differently. I’ve got three young kids and one on the way. I just want to move forward and put this behind me.” 

“I just can’t imagine a father putting drug dealing ahead of his children,” Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman said. “I would hope you would want to be there for your children. You’re setting your children up for failure too. If you’re going to have children, don’t throw their lives away. They are still very young, you can come out and be a father to them.” 

Judge Herman noted that Mitchell went to prison on federal drug charges in 2015 and then was sentenced to a year in jail in Cass court in 2017. “Dealing drugs has gotten you nowhere in life, you have to figure out on your own and decide if that’s what you want for you and your children,” he said. “You could end up in a revolving prison door.”