COLUMBUS, Neb. – A Columbus man was given a prison stint for dealing illegal drugs in Platte County.
44-year-old Michael VanMeter was given 8-12 years in prison on four separate counts of distributing meth in Platte County District court on Friday. Judge Robert Steinke ordered the four sentences run at the same time, therefore he can only serve a max of 12 years in prison.
The affidavit says that VanMeter sold meth four separate times in various locations from February 23 to March 4th of this year. The documents show that he sold a total of 3.3 grams of meth to criminal informants during that period, selling as much as 1.4 grams at one time.
VanMeter’s attorney Kaz Long asked Judge Steinke for mercy and a light sentence, saying that meth ruined VanMeter’s life, he was just trying to support his habit and that he sold a relative small amount of the drug.
VanMeter told the judge “I failed myself and my family,” but that he “didn’t realize it was such a serious offense.”
Steinke said that VanMeter already received some mercy after prosecutors pulled a habitual criminal charge in a plea deal. He then cited the fact that VanMeter has been in the criminal justice system since he was nine years old.
“You are a career criminal,” said Steinke.
VanMeter will be credited for 115 days already served. He could be released in as soon as four years with Nebraska Good Time laws.