A Starke County man has been sentenced to 12 years after pleading guilty to dealing methamphetamine. Mitchell Platz admitted in Starke Circuit Court Thursday that he sold meth to a friend in two separate transactions within the span of a few hours in August of 2018.
As of Thursday’s hearing, Platz was the Starke County Justice Center’s longest-serving inmate, having been there since October of 2018. In a letter to the court, Jail Warden Phil Cherry described Platz as a model inmate, having taken part in various substance abuse treatment programs, the jail’s F.A.R.M. program, and working in the kitchen. He’s also taken classes in horticulture and logistics, and he’s earned a welding certification. However, his criminal history was cited as an aggravating factor.
In the end, Judge Kim Hall sentenced Platz to the maximum sentence of 12 years in the Indiana Department of Correction for each of the Level 4 felony counts. Those sentences will be served concurrently. However, Hall agreed to let Platz serve those sentences on work release through LaPorte County Community Corrections, allowing him to get a well-paying job as a welder. But it also means that if he ends up back on drugs, he would serve that time in prison.
Platz’s plea agreement also stipulates that he will pay $290 in restitution to the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, and the court will be able to modify the sentence at any time. Platz also has pending cases in Marshall and St. Joseph counties.