Drug trafficking case results in prison term
March 8, 2018
A Gardnerville man will go to prison after he was convicted of trafficking in cocaine and methamphetamine.
Patrick MacRoberts, 45, was sentenced to 18-48 months after he admitted to possession of the drugs.
"I know a suspended sentence is not an option for me," MacRoberts told District Judge Tod Young on Tuesday.
While MacRoberts has never been to prison, prosecutor Erik Levin said he had 15 convictions with four felonies on his record.
Levin sought the maximum sentence of 18-60 months.
Defense attorney Derrick Lopez asked the judge to sentence MacRoberts to 12-32 months, saying the other person in the vehicle, Clinton Neeley, received probation.
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MacRoberts wrote a letter to the judge in which he pointed out he'd gone 9-10 years sober and without committing crimes.
However, just before his November arrest, he started using drugs again, which led to the current case.
"He wants to make the most of his time in prison seeking treatment," Lopez said of MacRoberts. "Drug use caused him to lose contact with his children."
MacRoberts received 107 days time served.
MacRoberts and Neely were arrested after deputies responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle in Gardnerville.
While on their way, deputies saw a vehicle with no tail lights that matched the description.
When they pulled the vehicle over, they recognized Neely and could smell alcohol inside.
Neely had a warrant, and when asked, allowed deputies to search the vehicle, with the exception of backpacks inside.
After finding drugs in the car, they opened the backpack to find more. In all, 7 grams of cocaine and 8.3 grams of methamphetamine were found during the search.
Neely receive mandatory probation after admitting to possession of a controlled substance.
■ A Gardnerville man who had two shotguns, which were not legal for him to possess, was given until March 20 to think about the story he told the judge on how he had the guns.
On Tuesday, Santino A. Calabrese, 33, admitted to a felony count of possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
The charge carries a sentence of up to six years in prison and a $5,000 fine, but Calabrese is asking Young to hold his sentence in abeyance.
Calabrese admitted he has used heroin for the last five to six years and that he hoped to attend a treatment program.
He told Young he inherited the shotguns and that he was taking them to a new residence.
However, Young pointed out he told a counselor that he was in his father's truck and forgot the shotguns were inside.
"People who aren't supposed to have firearms may go to prison," Young warned Calabrese.
Calabrese said he became addicted as the result of dental surgery.
■ A Gardnerville man could face a more serious penalty for failing to report his new address than the crime that required him to register as a sex offender in the first place.
Brandon Isaac Jesse Clark, 22, was arrested Jan. 22 after deputies responded to an argument at his home.
A background check revealed he was a registered sex offender, whose address was listed elsewhere.
Clark was convicted of gross misdemeanor statutory sexual seduction in October 2015. He received a 364-day sentence that was imposed two months later after he violated his probation.
It will be up to the judge whether Clark faces a gross misdemeanor or felony as a result of his guilty plea.
A felony could result in a 1-4-year prison sentence. While probation is mandatory, a future violation could result in the sentence being imposed.
A March 20 sentencing date was set on Tuesday.
■ An arraignment for a South Lake Tahoe man with two bench warrants and an arrest for possession of a controlled substance was delayed on Tuesday.
David J. Martinez, 34, was arrested Feb. 1 on the two warrants after he failed to appear in district court in May 2017.
Deputies received a report there was a wanted man in a hotel room at a Stateline casino.
When he was arrested he was found in possession of the prescription medication Suboxone, which is used to treat heroin addiction.
According to the sheriff's report, he told deputies he didn't have a prescription for the drug, which would be borne out by the plea agreement he signed last week.
However, he told District Judge Tod Young on Feb. 26 the drug was from an old prescription. Young refused to accept his guilty plea.
Martinez was wanted in connection with the theft of casino chips at Harvey's.
According to the sheriff's report, Martinez walked up to a black jack table, then reached in and grabbed chips out of the rack, saying "See, ya."
The dealer managed to grab him, preventing him from taking all the chips before he ran out the door, the sheriff's report said.
A woman reported someone made $1,040.99 in fraudulent charges on her credit card. Casino security video showed the same person committed both thefts.
Young reset the arraignment and the hearing on the bench warrants for March 20.