Vandalia man gets probation for cocaine possession

Published 6:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — A Vandalia man has the chance to keep a felony charge off his record if he’s successful on probation.  

Shane Reid, 36, of Donnell Road in Vandalia, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine less than 25 grams and was sentenced to two years probation, credit for 41 days in jail already served and $2,328 in fines and costs. 

The incident occurred Oct. 19, 2022 at an apartment building in Dowagiac. Police were called to the residence on reports of a break in. Reid said he had permission to be there. A weapon was later found at the residence but that charge was dismissed. 

Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman initially said he would give Reid a 7411 probation that allows him to keep the charge off his record, citing Reid’s past record of assault and drunk driving as well as a gun being found in this incident. 

Judge Herman changed his mind about allowing the 7411 probation after listening to Reid’s comments before the sentencing. “I want to apologize to the court for my actions, I take full responsibility for my actions,” he said. “I’m taking steps to move forward with my sobriety.” 

Reid said he has seen changes in his life since his arrest and has been getting substance abuse counseling. “I feel like I’m looking at life differently, I find joy in going fishing and spending time with my family,” he said. “I’m enjoying the simple things of life. I really didn’t appreciate those things before.” 

“Fishing with your kids or helping them learn how to ride a bike can make you feel better than any drug and can make you happier,” the judge said. “You say these are small things but they’re actually the big things that impact your life.” 

“You are going to be a role model to your children, good or bad,” he added. “Either way, they will follow you … When you have children, you have to step up to the plate. Drugs and guns won’t cut it. You’re not a bad guy for the most part, hopefully you will learn from this.” 

“You have an opportunity here to get this off your record,” he said. “If I see you back here in court, don’t come in begging for mercy.”