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Couple in prison for meth lab




CASSOPOLIS - Two methamphetamine lab operators were put behind prison bars on Friday morning in Cass County Circuit Court.





Chad Laughman 31, of 61620 South Main St., Jones, received 18 months to 20 years for operating and maintaining a meth lab at his home in Jones on May 29. Laughman and his wife, Debra Laughman, operated as a husband and wife team.

Prosecutor Victor Fitz said the operation was a danger to the community for the couple, and they both went down the wrong path. They started out with alcohol and marijuana at the age of 18.

"They endangered the neighborhood, the community and their children. "Their life is going nowhere," Fitz said.

Defense attorney James Miller asked for boot camp saying Laughman is a husband and father, has a high school diploma and a good job at risk. I think he can overcome his addiction. "I'm asking for boot camp to get him on his feet."

Laughman apologized to the court before Judge Michael Dodge recounted it was May 29 when the Cass County Drug Team visited the Laughman residence based on child neglect and drug use. They found use of meth and marijuana in the home plus evidence of the manufacturing of meth. Laughman has no prior record and has worked as a machinist.

"You exposed your children and are now losing custody. I am sure you feel bad about that. You have been leading a productive life," he said. "I hope you learn from experience. If you don't, your children will be lost forever."

Dodge approved of boot camp if qualified and credited him for time served of 50 days each for possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana. His court costs totaled $1,040.

Debra Laughman, 31, received three years probation and 270 days jail for operating and maintaining a meth lab and credit for 50 days served for each possession of meth and marijuana. Her costs totaled $920.

Also headed to prison for three to 20 years is Ronnie Maxwell, 53, of 54619 Estate Lane, Eau Claire, for operating a meth lab and a concurrent 23 months to 10 years for possession of meth on March 11. He received credit for 30 days served for each maintaining a drug house and possession of marijuana. His costs amounted to $773. In a 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct jury conviction, Jason Pressley was due to be sentenced, but it was adjourned while attorney Peter Johnson of St. Joseph is able to review his file.

Pressley, 33, of 93921 56th St., Dowagiac, was convicted by a jury June 17, and he is a 4th-habitual offender. The jury recommendation was a prison sentence with the new sentencing date set for Aug. 1.

Other sentencings are as follows:

€ Joseph Stockwell, 22, of 216 E. High St., Dowagiac, received 210 days jail for possession of meth on June 3 and a concurrent 90 days jail for possession of marijuana. His costs totaled $165.

€ Edward Jones, 46, of 202 South Lowe St., Dowagiac, received 240 days jail for delivery and manufacturing cocaine less than 50 grams on Sept. 12 on Grand Boulevard, Dowagiac. His costs totaled $120.

€ Angelic Meade, 35, 205 McOmber, Dowagiac, received two years probation and credit for time served of 128 days each for possession of meth on March 13 and child abuse on Anderson Road, Cassopolis. Her costs amounted to $710.

€ Branden Bradley, 21, of 11331 Shavehead Lake, Jones, got 140 days jail and two years probation for malicious destruction of property on April 18 on Stateline Road, Union. He kicked and damaged a police car interior while intoxicated. His costs were $1,500.

€ McKenzie Clark, 28, of 211 Pokagon St., Dowagiac, received 90 days jail and two years probation for delivery and manufacturing marijuana and a concurrent 30 days jail for operating a vehicle without insurance on April 17 on Michigan-51 Dowagiac. $1,982.

€ Sonya Baker, 27, of 420 E. Railroad St., Dowagiac, received 18 months for uttering and publishing on Oct. 20 on North Front Street in Dowagiac. She cashed six fraudulent checks in Dowagiac. She is to pay $930.

€ Angela Parquette, 27, of 1040 Constantine, Three Rivers, received 18 months probation for possession of meth on June 3 on East High Street, Dowagiac. Her costs totaled $930.




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