PLATTSMOUTH – A former Plattsmouth resident will spend three years in state prison for illegally carrying firearms in his vehicle this past summer.
Chad T. Bashus, 29, appeared in Cass County District Court Monday morning for sentencing in three cases. Bashus recently entered pleas to one Class 1D felony charge of possession of firearm by prohibited person and one Class IV felony of possession of controlled substance-methamphetamine. He also admitted violating his probation as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. The state agreed to dismiss three additional charges in exchange for the pleas.
Bashus began serving 60 months of probation in August 2017 on a previous possession of methamphetamine charge. Probation officials said he failed to appear for drug testing four times in late 2017 and tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine on another date. They said he also left a treatment facility in December 2017 and moved back to Pacific Junction, Iowa, without permission.
Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Bashus on separate charges in July 2017. A resident called authorities and reported seeing a man sleeping in a car with a shotgun sticking out the window. Deputies found Bashus in a vehicle with a .22-caliber rifle and .12-gauge shotgun. They also discovered illegal drugs in the vehicle. Bashus was not permitted to own any firearms due to his criminal history.
Cass County Attorney Colin Palm asked the court Monday to follow terms of the plea agreement. He said the state recommended three years in the Nebraska Department of Corrections on the firearms charge. Three years is the mandatory minimum sentence for a Class 1D felony in Nebraska. Palm also asked the court to issue one-year terms on the probation violation and new drug charge.
Defense attorney Julie Bear also asked the court to follow the plea bargain’s terms. She said her client had been battling substance abuse issues for a long period of time. She said she hoped he would receive additional treatment services during his incarceration.
Judge Michael Smith agreed with the requests of both Palm and Bear. He ordered Bashus to serve the mandatory minimum of three years in state prison on the Class 1D felony count. He also ordered one-year terms for the drug charge and probation violation. Bashus will serve all three prison sentences at the same time.
Smith also ordered Bashus to serve 12 months on post-release supervision after he completes his time in prison. Post-release supervision will involve many of the same requirements as a typical probation sentence.