Student admits trafficking charge

A University of Nevada, Reno, student faces up to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty Monday to trafficking in a controlled substance.

Sachin Verma, 21, of Reno, admitted he was in possession of more than 14 grams of cocaine when he was arrested Dec. 21, 2005, at Chili's restaurant in north Douglas County.

Verma, who faces a fine of $100,000, could be eligible for probation if he provides substantial assistance to law enforcement.

The District Attorney's office has agreed to recommend probation which could include up to one year in Douglas County jail.

His lawyer, William Routsis, told District Judge Michael Gibbons he will have three witnesses at the engineering student's sentencing July 24.

Routsis said Verma lives in Carson City and has been on house arrest for the past five months without any violations.

Appearing in court Monday, Verma said he knew the substance was cocaine and that it was illegal.

According to court documents, Verma reportedly had 112 grams of cocaine at his arrest.

n A South Lake Tahoe man pleaded guilty Monday to battery causing substantial bodily harm, admitting he struck his pregnant girlfriend with such force he fractured her eyesockets.

"I love the person that all this happened to," Anthony Connors sobbed in court Monday.

He was surrounded by a half dozen court bailiffs following an outburst last week in Tahoe Township Justice Court.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine at his sentencing July 10.

In a letter to the court, the victim said she had to delay facial reconstruction surgery because of her pregnancy.

The victim attended the hearing to obtain permission to contact Connors in jail to discuss her pregnancy.

Connors was on probation on a March 26 battery conviction against the same woman when the battery occurred May 3.

According to prosecutor Dina Salvucci, the victim said Connors battered her April 15, April 22, April 27 and May 2, the day before the felony assault.

District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered Connors held without bail.

"If (the victim) wants to come see you in jail, that's up to her if the jail decides it's safe," Gibbons said.

"I love her with all my heart," he said.

He told Gibbons he was taking medication for schizophrenia.

n District Judge Dave Gamble sentenced a South Lake Tahoe man to four years in Nevada State Prison for stealing a casino patron's purse, saying he couldn't look past the defendant's prior felony convictions.

James G. Brothers, 43, must serve a minimum of 12 months before he is eligible for parole on a conviction of grand larceny.

Records indicate Brothers served time in Soledad prison for manufacturing methamphetamine and robbery.

Gamble also rejected Brothers' request that he be sentenced to Western Nevada Regional Drug Court.

Brothers' lawyer, Terri Roeser, said the theft was a crime of opportunity.

"The situation was not planned, the purse was left behind. He was caught and cooperated with the police," Roeser said.

"The victim was concerned about identity theft and that Mr. Brothers knows where she lives.

He has no intention of harming the victim. He took the money to buy drugs."

The theft occurred March 14.

According to the victim, there was $3,900 in the purse that was missing when the handbag was recovered.

n Two suspects in the attempted sale in February of a half-pound of methamphetamine pleaded guilty this week to charges stemming from the case.

Teresa Castellanos-Padilla, 22, pleaded guilty Monday to trafficking in a controlled substance and faces up to six years in prison at her sentencing July 10 before District Judge Michael Gibbons.

Marcos Mendez, 29, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

He is set for sentencing Aug. 22 before District Judge Dave Gamble.

The two were among five people who were arrested Feb. 17 in a raid on a residence on Peridot Court.

Two other participants have pleaded guilty.

Leo-Osorio Chavez, named as the ringleader by several of the defendants, is set for a preliminary hearing in East Fork Justice Court.

Castellanos-Padilla faces up to six years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

She is eligible for probation if she provides substantial assistance to law enforcement.

Mendez faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He is also eligible for probation.

n Probation was reinstated Tuesday for a 36-year-old Carson City woman who admitted she used drugs and alcohol and was behind on her restitution payments.

District Judge Dave Gamble ordered Janet R. Tyzbir to serve 45 days in Douglas County Jail and successfully complete Western Nevada Regional Drug Court as part of her probation.

"I've been a drug addict for 20 years," Tyzbir said. "Every time I get a hold on it, it comes back to bite me in the butt."

Gamble told her she was killing herself.

"I can see you are slowly dying," he said. "This is the last opportunity for you to not die."

He told Tyzbir he would send her to prison if she fails drug court.

She was sentenced to 32 months in prison in July 2003. She pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $24,000 from Wal-Mart where she worked as a manager by illegally cashing in gift cards.


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