8-year sentence in safe looting

A Dayton man who looted a Lake Tahoe home to the tune of more than $600,000 was ordered Tuesday to spend up to 3-8 years in prison.

Miguel Guevarra Gacuma, 31, admitted looting the home’s safe while he was a home healthcare worker.

In addition to the prison term, Gacuma must pay back $657,984.78.

“What you did is absolutely disgusting,” District Judge Tod Young said. “You did it over and over again when people were trusting you. You did that to someone who was elderly, vulnerable and ill. I don’t know if you’ll ever get it paid off.”

Prosecutor Patrick Ferguson said the victims had been collecting the items stolen for the past 30 years.

Gacuma was hired to work as a home health nurse for a Lake Tahoe couple.

Between Sept. 1, 2019, and Feb. 13, he admitted to taking cash, gold, jewelry, as well as the victim’s Social Security card and birth certificate, from a safe in the home. Investigators found Gacuma conducted 75 transactions with area pawn shops.

According to court documents the owners returned from vacation and went into the safe where they discovered the empty boxes that once held their property.

A Gardnerville woman, who dropped out of a DUI diversion, was sentenced to 18-48 months in prison.

Dana Ruth Linehan, 61, has had several violations of her diversion since she was allowed in the program in August.

Linehan has had trouble comprehending the seriousness of her situation since she was arrested Jan. 8 after deputies responded to a disturbance at a Gardnerville business.

A third driving under the influence charge in seven years is punishable by a mandatory prison term, which can only be avoided through diversion. Linehan was previously convicted of DUI in March 2013 and December 2014.

A woman who drove her vehicle into a ditch was ordered to spend six months in Douglas County Jail before she can be discharged from probation.

Crystal Dean admitted violating her probation by driving under the influence.

District Judge Tod Young said the .53 preliminary blood alcohol test Dean had was the highest he’d seen in his 35 years in the criminal justice system.

“There’s not another person in this room that would be alive at that level,” he said.

Dean drove off East Valley Road on Oct. 16, just 13 days shy of completing her probation for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

“It amounts to dumb luck that she didn’t injure or kill someone,” prosecutor Patrick Ferguson said.

Dean said she understood that she could have done some real harm.

“I absolutely understand the severity of what I’ve done and that it could have turned out a lot worse,” she said. “I’m not a bad person, I don’t want to give up. Things spiraled out of control for me this year. It just didn’t stop.”


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