WARSAW — A Warsaw man received a suspended sentence on Monday, Dec. 9, for three different cases involving marijuana.
In the first case, Corey Joseph Matthews, 22, 135 EMS B61B Lane, Warsaw, was charged with theft of a firearm, a level 6 felony; and possession of a controlled substance and dealing in marijuana, both class A misdemeanors. A charge of dealing in a schedule IV controlled substance was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. In the second case, Matthews was charged with operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in the body, a class C misdemeanor. In the third case, Matthews was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a level 6 felony.
On Jan. 1, 2017, an officer with the Winona Lake Police Department pulled Matthews’ vehicle over in the area of US 30 and Center Street for disregarding a traffic signal. According to court documents, a chemical test later determined that Matthews was operating a vehicle after recently smoking marijuana.
On Feb. 10, 2017, an officer with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office received a search warrant for Matthews’ residence in regard to an alleged armed robbery. The man who committed the robbery said he gave the handgun he used to Matthews to pay for a prior drug debt. While searching Matthews’ residence, officers found a handgun underneath his bed and also discovered a shoebox containing cocaine, Xanax and marijuana.
On March 2, 2017, an officer with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office met with a girl under the age of 18 and received consent to search her phone. The officer discovered through messages on the phone that the girl and Matthews were dealing narcotics to several people. Officers also found images and videos of Matthews and the girl smoking marijuana.
“Obviously, he has an accumulating criminal history,” said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Buehler. “But he is taking steps to better himself and fix this drug problem.”
For the first case, Kosciusko County Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed sentenced Matthews to six months in the Kosciusko County Jail for theft of a firearm; six months in the KCJ for possession of a controlled substance; and one year in the KCJ for dealing in marijuana. All counts were suspended on formal probation, with the counts to be served consecutively if any rules of probation are violated. In the second case, Matthews was sentenced to 60 days in the KCJ, which was suspended on probation. For the third case, Matthews was sentenced to one year in the KCJ, with the sentence to be served concurrently with the sentence imposed in the first case.
In total, Matthews has 14 days of jail time credit. Matthews must also successfully complete the Serenity House program as part of his suspended sentence.