WARSAW — A Syracuse man was sentenced in Kosciusko County Circuit Court to seven years behind bars for drug-related offenses Monday, June 25.
David Michael Vela, 33, 201 E. Pittsburgh St., Syracuse, was charged in two separate cases of three counts of possession of methamphetamine, three counts of dealing methamphetamine and two counts of possession of marijuana. He pleaded guilty of May 14 to one charge of each offense.
Vela’s arrests for the drug charges came on two separate incidents in June and August of 2017. On June 6, 2017, an officer from the Syracuse Police Department recognized Vela from an outstanding warrant and searched the suspect, finding a digital scales, marijuana and methamphetamine on Vela’s person. The officer asked Vela if he was an addict and the defendant replied that he was trying to make money. On August 8, Vela was arrested after being recorded trying to sell a quantity of methamphetamine.
Through his attorney, Matthew Buehler, Vela expressed his hope of being able to enter some sort of rehabilitation for substance abuse.
“He wants to know about all the treatment options available to him,” said Buehler. “Since I’ve been representing him, he has not wavered in terms of continuing to question and and all treatment options available to him after finishing his sentence.”
Circuit Court Judge Mike Reed said his willingness to rehabilitate was admirable, but was not a sentiment that would result in a lighter sentence.
“We can’t do anything about anything that has happened before today,” Reed said. “We can only move forward. If you go down there [Indiana Department of Corrections facility] and start showing me you mean what you say, the court will consider modifications to your sentence.”
Reed sentenced Vela to a pair of three-year sentences as well as a one-year term for the marijuana charge, to be served concurrently to the methamphetamine possession charge. The sentences brought to a total of six, the number of actual years for Vela to serve. In addition, he was given 259 days of credit for time served.