By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — A Nappanee man will locally serve a six-year sentence after more than 40 grams of methamphetamine were found in his vehicle.
Justin Harry Pontious, 31, 351 W. Randolph St., Nappanee, was charged with dealing methamphetamine, a level 4 felony. A methamphetamine possession charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Pontious was sentenced in Kosciusko Circuit Court on Monday, April 12.
On Sept. 14, 2018, a Warsaw Police officer saw a vehicle make an improper turn in the area of US 30 and CR 800W. The officer identified the driver as Pontious.
According to court documents, while speaking with Pontious, the officer smelled marijuana. A K9 unit also made a positive alert on Pontious’ vehicle for illegal drugs.
While searching the vehicle, officers found a bag containing marijuana, as well as various drug paraphernalia. Multiple plastic bags containing methamphetamine were also found in the vehicle. The total amount of methamphetamine in the vehicle was 42.3 grams.
During court proceedings, Defense Attorney Austin Rovenstine said Pontious was able to earn a second chance through his actions toward improving his life.
“Over the last 1 1/2 years, he’s done what he’s needed to do and has earned a lot of people’s trust,” said Rovenstine on Pontious.
For dealing methamphetamine, Kosciusko Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed sentenced Pontious to six years in the Indiana Department of Corrections. The first 3 1/2 years of Pontious’ sentence will be served at the Kosciusko County Jail or through the county’s work release program. The last 2 1/2 years of the sentence was suspended on probation. Pontious also has 57 days of jail time credit in the case.
“It’s fairly impressive what you’ve done,” said Judge Reed. “Recovery is not an event, it’s a process.”