Dowagiac man gets prison time on multiple charges

Published 3:52 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

CASSOPOLIS — A Dowagiac man was sentenced to prison Friday in Cass County Circuit Court on drug, weapon and stolen vehicle charges.

Anthony Darnell Tartt-Smith, 34, of Pokagon Street in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to multiple charges related to two incidents last year. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of seven to 40 years, three to 20 years, three to 10 years, two to eight years and two years six months to four years in prison.

He has credit for 171 days served and must pay $2,722 in fines and costs. He must forfeit all weapons and ammunition.

He pleaded guilty to one count of possession of methamphetamine, two counts of possession of a weapon by a felon and one count of possession of ammunition by a felon-all as a habitual offender and all related to a May 11, 2023 incident in Dowagiac.

He pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, receiving, concealing, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a weapon by a felon, possession of cocaine and resisting and obstructing police-all as a habitual offender and all related to an Aug. 16, 2023 incident in Dowagiac.

Fitz noted that Tartt-Smith has seven prior convictions including three felonies. “These involved guns and were extremely dangerous, volatile situations,” he said. “He is at a relatively young age and has a lot of life ahead of him. There are people who have done really good things in prison. I hope he gets out and does good things but there is a price to pay for what he did.”

Defense attorney Robert Drake said the plea agreement allowed felony firearm counts to be dismissed which would have added consecutive two year prison terms to his sentence. “It’s not as bad as it could have been,” he said. “He’s been stand up about this and has placed his life in God’s hands. He understands there’s a price to pay.”

Tartt-Smith said he has found God and vowed to change his life. “I’m tired of being a loser,” he said. I’m going to be using my time wisely from now on. The next time I’m going to be in the Cass County jail it will be on a recovery team to make a difference in people’s lives. I want to help those with drug problems.”

Judge Herman called Tartt-Smith a “strange bird”, a term which he said he didn’t mean negatively. The judge noted that he had graduated high school and completed a year of college. “You’re always respectful and appear to be intelligent,” he said. “I’m always surprised when I see you here. You don’t seem to be someone who should be here.”

The judge noted that Tartt-Smith could have faced a minimum of close to 18 years in prison without the plea agreement. “Seven years in prison seems like a lot but it’s a whole lot less than what it could have been,” he said. “… I hope you’re serious about changing. You’re going to have to learn to give up the guns and drugs.”