Ranchos man gets six years in prison for meth sales

A 38-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man who said he began using marijuana in grade school was sentenced Monday to six years in Nevada State Prison for his role in a methamphetamine distribution operation.

Samuel L. Want told District Judge Michael Gibbons he was willing to do the time, especially if it keeps his children from substance abuse.

"I would be incensed if I caught my children with drugs," Want said. "I hope this reconfirms with my children to stay away from drugs. If I've got to go to jail for 10 years - if it keeps my kids out of drugs - I'll do it."

Want, who was convicted 15 years ago of drug sales, was identified as the "runner" for co-defendant Twila Leeling who was sentenced June 25 to 10 years in prison.

Want's lawyer, Stephen Rye of Reno, said Leeling was the target of undercover officers' investigation into methamphetamine sales in Carson Valley.

"She was arrested with more than 14 grams of methamphetamine," Rye said. "There was nothing found on Mr. Want - no drugs - which supports his claim that he's running drugs to support his habit."

Two friends testified Monday that Want had an addiction which needed to be treated, but that he was a good parent and friend.

His sister-in-law, Leanna Johnston, said she had known Want for more than 13 years.

"Since his arrest, he's made incredible strides," she said.

Prosecutor Mike McCormick asked that Want be sentenced to 10 years.

"He's continually used narcotics since he was 10," McCormick said. "He needs 10 years in prison so he has a longer leash."

Gibbons said Want showed some remorse for his actions, and advised him that he would be on his own in prison to stay off drugs and alcohol.

"Eighty percent of the people in prison are there for drug- or alcohol-related offenses," Gamble said. "You will need to really stick with it. There will be a lot of people there to lead you down the wrong path. You just cannot do it. You have to stay as far away from drugs as possible."

Want must serve two years before he is eligible for probation. The judge also ordered his vehicle forfeited to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

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