A 20-year-old former gang associate, who said he has turned his life around, was sentenced Monday to probation, and ordered to stay away from his former associates, as well as juveniles under 16 unless they are immediate family members.
District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Robert Fordin to four years in Nevada state prison, suspended, and placed him on four years probation.
Fordin pleaded guilty to principal to burglary, admitting his part in talking two juveniles into stealing a weapon from a rival gang member.
In a plea agreement, the state agreed to dismiss four misdemeanors and two gross misdemeanors against Fordin.
Charges dropped included two counts of statutory sexual seduction, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of violation of a court order and a petty larceny charge.
Fordin’s lawyer, Paul Quade, delivered several letters on Fordin’s behalf from his employer, family members and friends, who attested to his change.
Quade also produced attendance sheets from 12-step meetings.
“The letters show he is doing well and has changed his life,” Gibbons said. “Unfortunately, he did not finish the Salvation Army (treatment) program, but was there long enough to learn the principles.”
Quade said his client had matured as evidenced by negative substance abuse tests.
Prosecutor Tom Gregory asked that Fordin’s underlying sentence be 2-5 years in Nevada state prison.
“He’s been given a lot of opportunity, but he did not make it through the Salvation Army program,” Gregory said.
He also cited the nature of the offense.
Fordin was accused in 2011 of talking two juveniles into stealing a weapon from a member of the Norteños, on the pretext he could get them membership in the rival Juggalos.
The weapon was found in a shed where Fordin was living on his grandmother’s property. He said it had been returned to the owner.
During that time period, Fordin was accused of having sex with two underage girls.
“Although I was removed from the Salvation Army program, I took it all to heart,” Fordin said. “I’ve made great strides. I have two jobs. I don’t wish to go back to that life. I have a great support system now, and I don’t want to let any of them down, or myself.”
He said he had earned a one-year chip at Alcoholics Anonymous indicating a year of sobriety.
Gibbons ordered Fordin to abstain from drugs, alcohol and other intoxicants, continue his 12-step programs, have no contact with the burglary victims or with gang members.
He may not have contact with the victims of the seduction allegations, or any juveniles under age 16.
Gibbons gave Fordin credit for 22 days in custody.
“You’ve been through a lot,” Gibbons said. “It took time, but you showed me you could make changes with a lot of support. You stayed away from bad people. Things are looking pretty good for you. You cannot afford to slip at all.”