Drug offense earns prison term

David Gomez was sentenced Tuesday to up to four years in prison despite claims that he had turned his back on a long history of drug use and sales.

"I want to live clean. I want to be clean," the 23-year-old Gardnerville man told District Judge Dave Gamble.

"I would do anything to make amends to the people in this town, to clear my name. I want to raise my three kids, show them right from wrong, go to church with them," Gomez said. "I have a really strong relationship with God."

District Judge Dave Gamble said he believed Gomez was worth saving and that he had his life ahead of him to make changes.

But as he ticked off Gomez's prior convictions for drug and alcohol offenses - including two felonies and being kicked out of Western Regional Drug Court - Gamble said the defendant had plenty of prior opportunities.

"You see this as some sickness somebody gave you," Gamble said. "It's your fault. It's nobody else's fault but yours."

In his most recent offense Gomez was arrested in October, 21 days after serving a six-month jail sentence in Douglas County Jail on a drug conviction.

Sentencing was delayed while he completed an in-patient drug treatment program that Gomez said changed his life.

"Being in New Frontiers opened new doors for me. I realize my addiction, my problems. I can arrest it. There is a lot of support from my family. I don't want to look over my shoulder and worry anymore," he said.

Gomez was arrested for possession of a controlled substance for sale. Deputies found 10 grams of methamphetamine in his vehicle.

He claimed he knew the drug was in the car but said the methamphetamine belonged to the female passenger.

"The drugs were not on me. I never handed them to her. She grabbed everything there and put it in her bra," Gomez said Tuesday. "I never took anything. I had been only out three weeks and I already wanted to use again."

Lawyer Walter Fey of Reno said his client had the support of a large, extended family. Many relatives were in court Tuesday, some murmuring, "Yes, Lord," "Yes, Jesus," during the proceeding. Several wept loudly as Gamble sentenced Gomez to prison.

He is eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 18 months. Gomez was given credit for 163 days served in custody.

"He is very bad at being a criminal," Fey said. "Everyone knows who he is. Everyone knows what he is doing. He keeps getting arrested."

Prosecutor Kris Brown argued in favor of prison.

"I don't know how many last opportunities he can have. He's already been in rehabilitation and in drug court. He continues to deny responsibility. In his written statement, he says he was 'harassed by the officers,' rather than his being a criminal and the officers doing their job," Brown said.


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