The new law that took effect July 1 last year making it a D felony for a previous methamphetamine offender to purchase pseudoephedrine based products came into play in a big way today (March 5, 2014) in Marshall Superior Court No. 1. Chad Isom, 36 of Plymouth, pled guilty in two different cases to Possession of a Precursor by a Methamphetamine Offender, and Maintaining a Common Nuisance, both as Class D felonies, and Possession of Marijuana as a Class A misdemeanor.
The agreement reached between Deputy Prosecutor Sally Skodinski and defense counsel Peter Rockaway left the sentencing decision up to Judge Robert O. Bowen. Skodinski emphasized his prior convictions for ten misdemeanors and two felonies, including Dealing in Methamphetamine in 2009. She also pointed out that most of the previous sentences resulted in violations of probation and failure to successfully complete treatment and counseling. Upon his release in January of 2013 on the meth dealing charge, Skodinski pointed out that Isom immediately returned to purchasing pseudoephedrine based products, which is the essential ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine. No crime was detected until the new law took effect on July 1 and Isom quickly racked up four counts of purchasing as a methamphetamine offender.
On the second case, Indiana State Police Troopers Keith Bikowski and Jason Faulstich obtained a search warrant for Isom’s residence on Plum St. in Plymouth. Serving the warrant in the early morning hours of October 8, 2013, officers found methamphetamine, marijuana and numerous items of paraphernalia used to ingest the methamphetamine. Several persons were arrested as a result of the search. Isom plead guilty to maintaining a common nuisance as a D felony and possession of marijuana.
After taking evidence and hearing the arguments of counsel, Judge Bowen pointed out that Isom had been sentenced to over 9 years of jail or imprisonment and was still violating the law. Bowen pointed out that over a fourth of Isom’s life had been spent incarcerated. Accordingly, Bowen imposed maximum sentences of 3 years of imprisonment on the precursor case and 3 years of imprisonment on the maintaining a common nuisance case, with those sentences to run consecutive to one another for a total of 6 years. A one year sentence for possession of marijuana was ordered served concurrently.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Nelson Chipman stated, “the people who use and sadly quickly become addicted to meth are really the ones who need to hear the sentences the courts in Marshall County are handing out. Here the sentence was left up to the judge on a plea of guilty and maximum consecutive terms are imposed. It is just not our office seeking substantial prison terms on the meth cooks. This case is one of a user and buyer of pseudoephedrine with a long history of unlawful behavior and the appropriate sentence is deemed to be the longest available under the law.