Area men sentenced to probation on drug charges

Published 8:00 am Sunday, March 26, 2023

CASSOPOLIS — Two area men arrested at the Four Winds Casino in Dowagiac were sentenced to probation on drug charges. An Elkhart man currently in prison in Indiana was sentenced to time served for a 2015 incident. 

Bryan Keith Burnau, 34, of Sturgis, pleaded guilty to delivery/manufacture of methamphetamines and was sentenced to three years probation in the Swift & Sure program, credit for 255 days served and $2,628 in fines and costs. 

The incident occurred March 28, 2022 at the casino near Dowagiac. Police outside the casino identified the car he was riding in as one stolen out of St. Joseph County, Michigan. A search of the car found 1.5 ounces of meth. 

Judge Herman noted that Burnau has eight previous felonies and failed to complete other treatment programs. “Obviously you have a long term drug problem,” he told the defendant. 

The judge reminded him that probation is not a “get out of jail free” card. He pointed out that Burnau could face up to 11 years in prison if he violates his probation. He told him to make good on his other court obligations from previous sentences. 

Kyler Robert Thompson, 25, of East Telegraph in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of meth, one count of possession of analogues and one count of possession of other controlled substances-all as a habitual offender and was sentenced to three years probation, credit for 54 days served, completion of the Twin County program and $3,444. 

The charges are from two incidents, March 13 and March 17, 2022 outside the Dowagiac casino.  

Judge Herman said Thompson has already shown progress in the Twin County Probation program and making changes in his life.