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Elkhart man sentenced in 2019 Edwardsburg incident

CASSOPOLIS — An Elkhart man found with drugs inside an Edwardsburg area home last February is going to prison after being sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.

Friday’s court docket was shorter than normal as court personnel sought to abide by new state emergency orders in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The Michigan State Supreme Court ordered Wednesday that most court cases where defendants were not in jail be adjourned. They further ordered that only 10 people be allowed in the courtroom.

Joshua Michael Butler, 41, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to delivery/manufacturing of methamphetamines and maintaining a drug house and was sentenced to two and a half years to 20 years in prison. He has credit for 136 days already served and was ordered to pay $1,326 in fines and costs.

That incident occurred Feb. 17, 2019, at a residence on Channel Parkway in Mason Township near Edwardsburg. Police arrested Butler and two women in the home. The incident occurred after a fourth subject fled police in Elkhart and barricaded himself inside the Channel Parkway home.

According to earlier reports, members of the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team found more than an ounce of meth as well as meth paraphernalia, cash and marijuana. Two stolen vehicles were recovered from the property.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz reported that police found $4,000 in cash as well as meth, cocaine and marijuana in the home. Butler had two prior criminal convictions.

Butler also was given credit for 132 days already served in a separate case where he pleaded guilty to receiving, concealing or possession of stolen property-motor vehicle. He was ordered to pay $1,048 in fines, costs and restitution in that case.

That incident occurred May 16, 2019, in the Edwardsburg area.

An Edwardsburg man was also sentenced to prison in Friday’s sentencings.

Len Lester Kelley, 42, of North Shore Drive in Edwardsburg, pleaded guilty to deliver/manufacture of methamphetamines and possession of cocaine/narcotics under 50 grams, both as a habitual offender, and was sentenced to seven to 40 years in prison. He has credit for 329 days already served and must pay $1,936.50 in fines, costs and restitution.

The incident occurred April 29, 2019, in the 27000 block of Pine Lake Street near Edwardsburg. During a traffic stop, police found a total of 20 grams of meth worth $4,000 in street value as well as a stolen slot machine.

Fitz reported that Kelley had an extensive criminal history, with six prior felony and 12 misdemeanor convictions.

Also Friday:

Julia Campos-Zapata, 43, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to attempted identity theft and was sentenced to credit for 103 days served and fines and costs of $198.

The incident occurred at a residence in the 27000 block of May Street in Edwardsburg.

Ricky Dean Oliver, 56, of East Division Street in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to receiving, concealing or possession of stolen property more than $20,000 and conspiracy to receive, conceal or possess of stolen property over $20,000 as a habitual offender and was sentenced to probation in the Adult Treatment Court and $62,000 in restitution.

The incident occurred Sept. 15, 2019, at a residence in the 25000 block of Harris Street in Edwardsburg. Fitz said a large piece of machinery stolen from the JA Wagner Construction Company in Indiana was found in Cass County.

He was also sentenced for a probation violation in a 2016 case involving drugs and stolen property.

Crystal Marie Vance, 44, homeless, pleaded guilty to resisting and obstructing police as a habitual offender and disturbing the peace and was sentenced to one year in jail with credit for 203 days already served.

The incident occurred April 29, 2019, at S. Lowe and High streets in Dowagiac.

• In a resentencing, an Edwardsburg man was resentenced after the Michigan Court of Appeals vacated his sentence from a 2018 case. The Court of Appeals ruled that one sentencing variable had been scored incorrectly which in turn changed the guidelines and required a resentencing.

Jason Scott Ryans, 44, of Old Michigan 205 near Edwardsburg, was sentenced to prison in Cass Circuit Court in January 2018 on drug-related charges. He was sentenced to three to 20 years in prison for possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana as a habitual offender.

Ryans was arrested May 4, 2017, at a home in Mason Township near Edwardsburg and found to be in possession of both methamphetamine and marijuana.

His new sentence is 23 months to four years in prison. He is now eligible for parole but will still be kept in custody awaiting child pornography charges.


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