Drug trafficker sent to prison

One of five defendants in the sale of a half-pound of methamphetamine to an undercover informant was sentenced Monday to 30 months in Nevada State Prison.

District Judge Michael Gibbons told Catarino Vasquez-Esquivel, 28, he must serve at least 12 months before he is eligible for parole.

Vasquez-Esquivel said he wanted to return to his parents' farm in Mexico with his girlfriend and two children.

"I would ask you to give me the opportunity to be with my family," he said.

Vasquez-Esquivel and four others were arrested Feb. 17.

Lawyer Jennifer Yturbide argued on behalf of Vasquez-Esquivel that he had no prior felonies and had offered to provide information to law enforcement.

According to prosecutor Dina Salvucci, the defendant refused at first to cooperate. She said when he decided to help, officers didn't need his information.

Yturbide said her client's problem was his drug use.

"The sobriety during this time in jail has provided clarity to him. He wants to move on," she said.

He was given credit for 143 days in jail since his arrest.

Gibbons said he took into consideration that Vasquez-Esquivel provided some assistance, especially after the confidential informant was arrested for allegedly taking $1,000 in funds earmarked for the drug buy.

Gibbons continued sentencing to Aug. 7 for co-defendant Teresa Castellanos-Padilla, 22, who also pleaded guilty to trafficking in a controlled substance.

Her lawyer, Matthew Ence, told Gibbons he had received new information from the District Attorney's office and was awaiting material from her friends and family.

He also said he wanted to review her pre-sentence report with a Spanish interpreter.

Gibbons said he wanted to make sure that the defendant understood he was ready to proceed with sentencing but her lawyer requested the delay.

Trial is set Aug. 1 for Leo Osorio-Cahavez believed to be the ringleader in the drug deal.

Osorio-Cahavez, 28, pleaded not guilty to four counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Coriano Chacon-Hernandez, 31, was sentenced May 8 to five years in prison for trafficking in a controlled substance.

Marcos Mendez, 29, is to be sentenced Aug. 22 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.


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