Ex-felon gets prison for gun | RecordCourier.com
by Leslie Pearson
lpearson@recordcourier.com

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Ex-felon gets prison for gun

A Topaz man received 30 months in prison after admitting guilt Monday to possession of an antique gun that was reported stolen in a burglary case in Judge Michael Gibbons's district court.

Don Martines, 56, is an ex-felon who cannot be in possession of any firearm.

His last felony conviction was 17 years ago, but prosecutor Erik Levin said that he had been arrested without conviction since then.

Martines said that he did not have the gun with the intention to use it, but to trade it.

"Just because he didn't mean to use it, doesn't mean that he doesn't deserve to go to jail," Levin said.

Jaime Henry, Martines' public defender, said he offered to pay $400 out of his $600 social security check every month until the restitution for the antique gun and another pistol, which was also stolen in the burglary, was repaid if he could receive probation.

Gibbons said that he was being sentenced for a technical offense and that he did not believe that Martines had the intent to use the gun made in the 1800s in a crime.

"But if anyone should have known that you can't be in possession of a gun, it should have been you," he said. "The room for violation is very small."

■ A Carson City man admitted to associating with members of the Jugalos gang in Carson City while on probation for theft and possession of methamphetamine.

Michael Harrell, 20, said that he didn't consider the Jugalos a gang but since the Division of Probation did that he admitted to associating with them.

Prosecutor Erik Levin said sentencing Harrell to a boot camp would be appropriate.

"I believe that because of his age, he would benefit from the discipline of a boot camp," he said.

Public defender Derrick Lopez said the Carson City jail had documentation that Harrell's spine was injured so that he could not participate in the physical training aspect of the boot camp.

Gibbons agreed and said that he would not qualify, and ordered him to an in-patient drug treatment center after serving 60 days in Douglas County jail.

"If he goes to prison, he'll be around gangs," he said. "This is your last chance, I hope you'll take advantage of it.

■ An Eldorado County man arrested for possession of heroin and a credit card without the permission of the cardholder admitted guilt Monday in district court.

Brian Cruess, 25, admitted to stealing his brother's MasterCard and gas cards without permission.

He will be sentenced on Aug. 11 and until then will be released to California authorities to attend court for warrants in Eldorado County.

Gibbons said that he will be issued warrants in Douglas County after he appears in court in California so that he can be transported by authorities to and from each court.

"I won't be releasing him on his own recognizance," Gibbons said. "We're issuing the warrants to keep him off the street and keep him clean."