PLATTSMOUTH – A Lincoln man learned Monday that he would spend time in Cass County Jail for ignoring multiple requirements of his probation order.
Anthony J. Rushing, 29, appeared in Cass County District Court for a sentencing hearing. He began serving 24 months of probation in April 2017 for a Class I misdemeanor charge of attempted possession of controlled substance-tetrahydrocannabinols (THC). A state trooper had stopped Rushing in March 2016 and found a rubber container with THC in the car.
Probation officials contacted the Cass County Attorney’s Office last year after Rushing violated his sentence many times. Rushing tested positive for THC six times between January and July 2018 and missed 18 mandatory drug tests between November 2017 and August 2018.
Probation officials sent one of Rushing’s drug samples to the state probation lab in July 2018. The sample tested positive for more than 50 milligrams of THC.
Rushing was sanctioned four times while he was probation. He told a probation officer during a July 2018 visit that he felt marijuana should be legal to use in Nebraska and that he would continue doing so.
Cass County Attorney Colin Palm told the court Monday that marijuana was the main hurdle in Rushing’s life. Palm said the original THC charge and the subsequent probation violations were the lone entries on Rushing’s criminal docket.
“He has no criminal history other than this case,” Palm said. “The main stumbling block is that he has not been able to quit using marijuana.”
Defense attorney Donald Schense told the court he felt his client was attempting to wean himself off the drug. He said Rushing had sought treatment services from the Veterans Administration and had an appointment with the agency later this week.
Judge Michael Smith told Rushing he was no longer a suitable candidate for probation. Smith told Rushing he would “reduce his sentence considerably” because of his service to the country, his lack of a criminal history and his attempts to seek treatment.
Smith ordered Rushing to serve 15 days in Cass County Jail. The jail sentence will begin the morning of April 4.