Kalamazoo man gets probation on drug charges

Published 2:19 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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CASSOPOLIS — A former Dowagiac resident who told police that he was terrible at selling drugs at the time of his arrest was placed on probation Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.

Terrance Deandreal Turner, 39, formerly of Dutch Settlement Street in Dowagiac and now of Kalamazoo, pleaded guilty to delivery/manufacture of cocaine and maintaining a drug house and was sentenced to two years probation, credit for three days served and $2,260 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred Oct. 12 on Dutch Settlement Street in Dowagiac.

Assistant Prosecutor Jason Ronning noted that Turner had received a very favorable plea deal and could have faced a mandatory two year prison term for using a firearm in the commission of a felony. He said Turner would not get another break if he re-offends.

Defense attorney Robert Drake said Turner came from a decent family, graduated from high school and had some college and only had a minor previous involvement with the criminal justice system. Drake said his client took up using and selling drugs after losing his job in early 2023.

“He found himself in financial straights and he turned to what he thought would be an easy way to make money,” Drake said. “When he was arrested, he told officers ‘I’m really terrible at this.’ That spoke to me, it was an honest statement. He was also forthcoming with police … He has moved to Kalamazoo and removed himself from the environment here.”

“I don’t disagree that mixing together firearms and drugs is a recipe for disaster,” he added. “I would suggest that the intervention of law enforcement in this case was a positive.”

“There are no friends when you’re dealing with drugs,” Judge Herman said. “There’s nobody who won’t turn on you when it comes to drugs. Here, the police had a search warrant, that shows that someone you knew and trusted turned you in.”

“The other thing people don’t realize is that those you deal drugs with will steal from you or even kill you,” he added. “Then what will you do? You either kill somebody or you’re dead yourself. I see it over and over and over.”

“There is no future in drugs except jail or prison,” the judge said. “Almost every time there’s a crime with drugs and weapon, someone goes to jail, you need to appreciate your attorney’s efforts. With your convictions, you cannot possess a firearm, period. It will be a five year felony if you do. Hopefully we don’t see you back here again, if we do, you know what to expect.”