Plea change in drug case

The last of five defendants in the sale of a half-pound of methamphetamine to an undercover informant pleaded guilty Monday to trafficking in a controlled substance.

Leo Osorio-Cahavez, 28, changed his plea one week before he was to go on trial on five felony counts.

He entered the guilty plea in an agreement with the District Attorney's office to drop the additional charges.

Osorio-Cahavez faces six years in Nevada State Prison and a $50,000 fine at his sentencing Aug. 28 by District Judge Michael Gibbons.

His attorney, James Boles of Reno, asked if the sentencing date could be earlier.

"He does not care for the accommodations," Boles said.

Osorio-Cahavez, described as the ringleader by his co-defendants, has been in Douglas County Jail on $25,000 cash bail since his arrest in February.

Osorio-Cahavez is ineligible for probation unless he provides substantial assistance to law enforcement in other drug cases.

He would have to serve a minimum of 12 to 28 months before he could apply for parole.

Boles instructed his client not to answer Gibbons' inquiry whether he was in the United States legally.

"He is aware he could be deported because of a felony conviction whether he is a citizen or not," Boles said.

Osorio-Cahavez admitted providing the methamphetamine to co-defendant Catarino Vasquez-Esquivel for the controlled buy.

He also said that Teresa Castellanos-Padilla, 22, who pleaded guilty to trafficking, had nothing to do with the drugs.

"They were mine," he said. "She had no involvement at all."

Osorio-Cahavez told Gibbons he didn't start using methamphetamine until last year when he became involved with the co-defendants.

"They were more involved than I was," he said. "When I met them was when I started using methamphetamine. I met them about a year ago before I was in court."

The five were arrested for allegedly trying to sell a half-pound of methamphetamine, worth $25,000 on the street, which was seized by officers on Feb. 17. Douglas County sheriff's investigators of the Street Enforcement Team and members of the Tri-NET narcotics task force served a search warrant on a home at 902 Peridot Court in Indian Hills.

Four men were arrested at the Home Depot in Indian Hills. A woman was arrested at the home on Peridot. A 2-year-old boy was in the home.

Investigators seized a vehicle and $1,200 in cash during the arrest. Authorities said occupants of the home were preparing to set up counter surveillance.


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