A Johnstown man is learning the hard way that carrying around mementos of a deceased love one can be harmful, especially if the item is a marijuana pipe.
John Lantzy Jr., of the 100 block of Tremont Road, was sentenced to 12 months probation by Cambria County Judge Timothy Creany after he was found in possession of the pipe, which he said belonged to his dead father.
“I took it to protect it because I have very few things from my father,” Lantzy told the judge at his sentencing Tuesday.
Defense attorney David Kaltenbaugh backed up Lantzy’s explanation, telling the judge the pipe was not for personal use, but as a keepsake from his father.
“It seems like a strange memento,” Creany said.
Lantzy responded: “It is what it is.”
Cambria County First Assistant District Attorney Heath Long said he confirmed that Lantzy does not have a drug problem.
“If he would have needed help, we would have gotten him help,” Long said following the hearing.
The case dates back more than a year, to Feb. 27, 2013, when Lantzy, 40, failed to obey police at a traffic stop and was placed in custody.
It was when police searched Lantzy that the marijuana pipe was discovered in his front right pocket.
During the year of probation, Lantzy has to stay away from alcohol and drugs, Creany said.
Kathy Mellott covers the Cambria County Courthouse. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/kathymellotttd.