Veteran sentenced to probation following marijuana offense

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CASSOPOLIS – A decorated Army veteran received probation Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.

Arsalan Rehman, 24, of Mishawaka, pleaded guilty to delivery of marijuana and was sentenced to two years’ probation, credit for two days served and $2,478 in fines and costs. His license is suspended for six months and his firearm forfeited.

The incident occurred Feb. 1 in Ontwa Township when police stopped him for running a red light and found marijuana, a scale and a loaded gun in his car. Charges of drunk driving and carrying a concealed weapon were dismissed.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said Rehman is at a crossroads and turning point.

“The thing that struck me is that he is a relatively young man at age 24 and made a bad decision,” he said.

He told Rehman that his office could have easily pushed a felony firearm charge from the incident.

“You’re playing with fire,” he said. “I just encourage you to put this behind you.”

Defense attorney Albert Mais noted Rehman’s military record which includes tours of Afghanistan and the receipt of several medals and commendations. Rehman is currently a student at Indiana University in Bloomington and studying to be a social worker.

“He has been a good person his whole life and made a mistake that day,” he said. “A lot of young men came back from the service and made mistakes. I know he’s on the right track now. He’s going to school full time and on the dean’s list. He has a lot of positives going for him. He’s an intelligent young man, he won’t repeat this mistake in the future.”

Rehman said he has learned a lot from this experience. “I was at a really low point in my life and made the wrong decision,” he said. “I learned from this experience. Even if something is bad now doesn’t mean that something good can’t happen later. I apologize for my actions and for letting everyone down.”

Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman noted it is Rehman’s first conviction.

“I hope you realize that drugs and a loaded gun are not going to help you in pursuing your career,” he said. “This is your first foray into the criminal system and I hope it’s your last. You have a good long life ahead of you. Your army background will help you, guns and drugs won’t.”

In another sentencing, a Marcellus woman was sentenced to jail and probation after causing over $50,000 worth of damage to a home she was renting last year.

Trisha Lynn Highlund, 37, of Marcellus, pleaded no contest to malicious destruction of property between $1,000 and $20,000 as a habitual offender and was sentenced to five years’ probation, 200 days in jail with credit for 50 days served, $3,348 in fines and costs and $51,795.25 in restitution.

She can serve the remainder of her…

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