Newton Man Gets Prison Term for Meth Crimes

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Published on November 15 2013 3:37 pm
Last Updated on November 16 2013 1:52 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A Newton man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on meth charges.

41-year-old Michael Shamhart was found guilty in July on counts of participation in methamphetamine manufacturing, possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials and possession of meth.  The charges resulted from the execution of a search warrant by Newton City Police and Jasper County Sheriff's deputies on Shamhart's residence on Van Buren Street in Newton in January.  During the search, police seized a large quantitiy of materials commonly used in connection with the home production of methamphetamine along with evidence of the finished meth product.

In arguing for an enhanced sentence available due to Shamhart's prior criminal convictions, Jasper County State's Attorney Kevin Parker argued that the meth production at Shamhart's residence was within 1,000 feet of three Newton churches and that Shamhart's live-in girlfriend was pregnant at the time and gave birth just weeks after the incident.

Parker said, "Illinois recognizes that methamphetamine and its production is uniquely harmful to not only those directly involved, but to the public in general as well.  Perhaps this will send a message and deter others from participating in this destructive and dangerous behavior."