Drug dealer sentenced to 2-8 years

Staff Reports

A drug dealer who has been dodging the law since the summer of 2001 was sentenced to up to eight years in Nevada State Prison for trafficking in methamphetamine.

Cesar J. Rios-Carrion, 28, of Carson City, was arrested the day after Christmas 2005 after he allegedly reported a fight.

At his Tuesday sentencing, defense attorney Tod Young told District Judge Dave Gamble that Rios-Carrion had spent the intervening years in the area and kept his nose clean.

"He spent the time just trying to be a dad," Young said. "He stayed in the community. There was an altercation and he called the police and then he was arrested on the warrant. When he is done here, he wants to take his family and return to Mexico. He said that he was just one of the middlemen."

Prosecutor Dina Salvucci said she felt that being a middleman in the drug trade might be worse than being a producer.

"The other parties involved in this case said they were just middlemen, too," she said. "I don't think being a middleman is that low in the process."

She said she was concerned that in such cases, the defendant is sentenced to a year in prison, returns to Mexico and then often comes back over the border.

Young objected, but he was overruled by Gamble, who later said Salvucci was not referring to the specific case, but that she was accurate about the possibility.

Rios-Carrion told Gamble through an interpreter that his wife was 4 months pregnant and that he just wanted to go home.

"I promise you that you will never see me here again."

Gamble sentenced Rios-Carrion to two consecutive 1-4 year terms in prison, a $5,000 fine. He was given credit for 171 days he had served in jail.

Rios-Carrion had been originally arrested in a May 30, 2001, raid at his home on Tourmaline in Indian Hills.

He denied trafficking in a controlled substance and was released on $20,000 bail with an electronic monitoring device. He came home from an authorized appointment on July 26, 2001, told his family he had to go back and that was the last time authorities saw him until late last year. A $100,000 warrant was issued for his arrest.

On Feb. 28 he entered a guilty plea to two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance.

n Two men were permitted to enter the drug court diversion program, though Judge David Gamble warned attorneys not to use the program for a dumping ground.

A plea agreement for John E. Hara permitted the 60-year-old Wellington man accused of selling methamphetamine to attend the program.

Hara, who wore a back brace in court said he started using methamphetamine after he hurt his back and is taking methadone for the pain.

"If you are on methadone then it won't work for you to go to drug court," Gamble said. "People sometimes ask for drug court like it's a get out of jail free card. It is the most effective tool we have to end addiction in people's lives. I don't want to use it as a catch-all."

Gamble said he was protective of the drug court, which requires participants to attend on a regular basis and be tested regularly.

"Drug court shouldn't be a plea bargain tool where the person is not fired up about getting rid of an addiction," he said.

A second man, William P. Oller, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted theft after admitting he stole a ring and cash from the woman he was renting a room from.

It took a little prompting from the judge to get Oller to admit outright he took the ring valued at $2,860 and $260 in rolled quarters from the woman's house.

"I borrowed the ring and then pawned it," he told Gamble in pleading guilty.

Gamble asked him what a better word for what he did would be.

"I stole the money and the ring and spent the money on drugs," Oller said.

The theft occurred on March 23 when Oller said he left the state for Colorado. By April 13, he was back and his van had broken down. He was walking to Holbrook when a deputy spotted him and offered him a ride. A routine check revealed he was wanted in connection with the theft.

"If I let someone go to drug court and they fail, they have a higher likelihood of incarceration than if they were just on probation," Gamble said. "You started by telling me you borrowed the ring and then that you took the ring. That tells me you are not looking clearly at the things you did."

Oller told Gamble that he had gotten clean before and that he would do it again.

"I'll show the whole community that I can be a better person," he said.

"OK Mr. Oller, show me," Gamble said in ordering the drug court.

n A Lake Tahoe man received a suspended 3-year prison sentence in connection with the theft of items donated for sale by the Heavenly Ski Foundation.

Devin M. Azevedo, 36, of Mammoth Lakes was arrested Dec. 3, 2005, for taking an autographed basketball, a bottle of wine and four Sacramento Kings tickets.

Azevedo's attorney Tod Young told Judge Michael Gibbons that Azevedo was intoxicated at the time of the offenses.

"Your honor, if Mr. Azevedo could undergo surgery to remove the alcohol from his system, then you would remove the criminality as well," Young said.

Azevedo was still under the influence when he admitted taking a $20,000 fur coat, according to prosecutor Dina Salvucci, a crime someone else later admitted.

Azevedo said he had been clean and sober for 141 days.

In addition to his sentence, Azevedo was ordered to write a letter to deputies he resisted during his arrest.

If Azevedo successfully completes his probation he may be able to eventually have the charges removed from his record.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment