Niles man gets prison time for meth, weapon possession

Published 3:55 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

NILES — A Niles man with a lengthy criminal record is going to prison after being sentenced Monday in Berrien County Trial Court.

Anthony Smith, 54, of Niles, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamines and carrying a concealed weapon and was sentenced to concurrent terms of 18 months to 10 years and 18 months to five years in prison. He has credit for four days served and must pay $256 in fines and costs. He must also forfeit his weapon.

The incident occurred April 18 in Niles Township.

Despite the fact that Smith has 35 prior convictions, defense attorney Carri Briseno asked for a sentence of probation and tether. She noted that many of Smith’s prior convictions were for minor offenses and not felonies. For his part, Smith apologized and said he knows he made a mistake.

Berrien County Trial Judge Jennifer Smith appeared skeptical of Smith’s attempt to set up an appointment for counseling for later this week. “You were released on bond in April, you could have gotten an evaluation done sooner,” she said. “The fact that you waited three months to set it up is concerning.”

“You also said you didn’t know there were drugs in your car and to me that doesn’t seem to be true,” the judge added. “You have been on 12 previous probations and had multiple opportunities you could have taken advantage of.”