Niles man gets probation, tether for running drug house

Published 12:04 pm Monday, June 17, 2024

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NILES — A Niles man arrested in April for operating a drug house was sentenced Monday in Berrien County Trial Court.


Dustin Lisle Smith, 37, of Niles, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house and was sentenced to two years probation, credit for nine days served, 90 days tether and $666 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred April 5 in Niles.

Arnold said she didn’t see Smith as a good candidate for probation since he had violated his probation at least twice in the past. She noted that Smith was not only a user but a seller of drugs.

Defense attorney Shayne Williams said Smith is currently working and supporting his two children. She noted that he did everything asked of him in pretrial supervision in this case and is also getting counseling.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Smith said. “I’d like the chance to maintain my sobriety.”

Berrien County Trial Court Judge Jennifer Smith noted that Smith has a history of substance abuse. 

“At some point, you chance to have a probation sentence will end and a court will decide it’s not a good use of resources,” he said. “Here you were selling as well as using.”

The judge said she will recommend Smith for the trial court’s drug treatment court program. “This is probably your last chance for that,” she said. “If you need motivation, if you violate, you will spend time in jail or even prison.”