Man who had marijuana mailed to him while on house arrest gets probation
A 20-year-old from St. Charles who was on home monitoring on three pending felony drug cases when he was charged with having cannabis oil mailed to him to later sell was sentenced Monday to 6½ years of probation.
"I don't trust you," Kane County Judge John Barsanti said as he sentenced Braham Thomas, of the 1300 block of South Fourth Street. "If you come back in front of me (for a probation violation), I'm not going to make this speech again."
Thomas was on electronic home monitoring as part of his bond conditions for three pending felony drug cases when he was arrested in May after accepting a package containing cannabis oil, according to prosecutors and court records.
Earlier this year, Thomas pleaded guilty to two separate counts of possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, one from a Jan. 26 arrest and another from his May 16 arrest, and left it up to Barsanti to determine his sentence.
Assistant State's Attorney Andrew Whitfield pushed for a three-year prison term on the May case and 24 months of probation on the January case. Whitfield noted Thomas was convicted of a drug offense as a juvenile and was on electronic home monitoring on three pending drug cases when the state police got a search warrant and saw Thomas accept the package containing $2,100 worth of THC oil.
"What we have to look at is someone who is flagrantly violating the law," he said. "People who are on bond who commit more felonies should be sentenced to the Illinois Department of Corrections."
Defense attorney Tim Mahoney argued for probation, citing Thomas' mental health history -- which included four concussions as well as diagnoses of Asperger's syndrome, ADHD and bipolar disorder -- and his client's maturation while serving nearly seven months in jail while the cases were pending.
"Maybe he was making a living (selling marijuana), but it wasn't much of a living," Mahoney said. "Probation is a much harder road."
Barsanti said state statute required a sentence of probation for Thomas unless he was a danger to society or that probation would diminish the severity of the offense. If Thomas violates his probation, he could be resentenced to prison for up to 12 years.
He is next due in court Jan. 18 to report on his probation progress, which also requires him to submit to random drug tests and get a job.
"I want to know every step of the way what's going on," Barsanti said.