WARSAW — Kosciusko Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed accepted plea agreements on four individuals Monday and issued suspended sentences on three. All five had entered plea agreements in March either calling for charges to be dismissed or the level of the crime reduced.
Aaron E. Torbet, 34, 708 S. Kinder Drive, Syracuse, received a total of a one-year sentence on two charges with a third charge being dismissed. Reed sentenced Torbet to six months on the charge of unlawful possession of a syringe, a level 6 felony, and six months for driving while suspended, both to be served at the county jail. The sentences are to run consecutive and consecutive to a sentencing he received in two other matters. A charge of possession of paraphernalia was dismissed.
Torbett told the judge he has been in treatment for substance abuse since last October. “I trust this is true … could be a lot worse. Stay in treatment. You’re too old for this,” said Reed.
Probation and community service was given to Joshua A. Schroeder, Mohammed A. Smith and Cassie L. Santamaria on their various drug charges.
Schroeder, 31, 212 E. Emeline St., Milford, received a one year jail sentence for possession of methamphetamine, a level 6 felony, and possession of paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor. His sentence is to run concurrent and consecutive to a case in another county. The incarceration period was suspended and Schroeder placed on formal probation with 40 hours of community service. Other charges: possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana were dismissed.
“I was at the wrong place at the wrong time and made the wrong friends. It won’t happen again,” Schroeder told the court. Reed suggested Schroeder take advantage of this opportunity.
Smith, 61, 405 S. Main St., Auburn, was sentenced to two years to the Indiana Department of Corrections, all suspended, to be served on formal probation. Smith was charged with dealing cocaine and possession of cocaine. Through a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to dealing in cocaine ,a lesser charge of conspiracy to deal, a level 5 felony.
Reed questioned how a 61-year-old man make such a decision and stated how he should have known better.
Santamaria, 24, 917 E. Fort Wayne St., Warsaw, had pleaded guilty to dealing in a narcotic drug, a level 6 felony instead of the initial level 5 felony. She was given 1 1/2 years in the county jail, all suspended to be served on formal probation. She was also ordered to spend two separate weekends in the county jail, for 48 hours starting April 29 and May 6. She was also ordered to serve 40 hours of community service.
It was noted that just prior to her court hearing, Santamaria was given a drug test and tested positive for marijuana or an opiate. While Scott Lennox, attorney, stated his client made a mistake and thought the individual was her friend. “She has learned her lesson and knows she has issues with controlled substance abuse.”
Santamaria apologized to the court, stating what she did was wrong and has tried to work on her substance abuse issue. “I’m concerned this won’t be the end of the apologies,” said Reed. “I would make sure there are no more positive drug tests starting today,”