Man with drug problem may face prison |

Man with drug problem may face prison

by Aurora Sain

A Gardnerville man with a criminal history in Douglas County dating back more than a quarter century admitted to a felony charge of selling a controlled substance.

Stefan Richard Delia, 45, entered the plea pursuant to the Alford plea, which allows him to admit to a fictional charge to avoid a more serious one.

Delia is facing up to six years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.

He was originally arrested after an April traffic violation. The K-9 alerted officers to drugs in the car and they found eight baggies of methamphetamine, a marijuana cigarette and a sedative called Alprazolam.

He received a probation violation on July 13 when he showed up for testing and tested positive for methamphetamine, opiates, THC and benzodiazepines.

Delia’s attorney Derrick Lopez asked for him to be released, but the judge denied the request.

“I’m concerned about him killing himself,” said Judge Tod Young.

Young also had to disclose that when he was an attorney he had previously been appointed to represent Delia several times. He said he knew Delia’s mother, Barbara Smallwood, who is the vice chairwoman of the Minden Gardnerville Sanitation District and a former county commissioner.

Delia has a lengthy criminal history including third domestic battery charge in 2010, possession of methamphetamine in 2013 and most recently, ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

He sold a stolen gun to a pawnshop and when the pawnshop owner realized it he called authorities.

Sentencing was set for Oct. 4 and he will remain in custody until then.

“He’ll stay sober from where he is,” said Young.

The Alford plea comes from a 1970 case of North Carolina v. Alford, where someone can plea guilty all while maintaining his or her innocence.

Under the plea, the defendant believes that the prosecutor has sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction in court, even if they are not admitting to a crime.

■ Dell Plante, 47, was given a chance at probation for his May 14 offense of ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

He was going through a hard time, and texted a woman a picture of himself with a revolver to his head.

“He thought he might end his life, he was suicidal at the time,” said his attorney Derrick Lopez. “He called out for help.”

Plante’s divorce was finalized this week, and he hopes to play a part in his kid’s lives.

He has been attending the Western Nevada Regional Drug Court since his last court date in June.

Plante had gotten the gun from his sons house without his knowledge and was feeling really depressed.

“I think we can understand the feelings that went through his head,” said Lopez.

He was originally facing up to six years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

Judge Young gave him a 19-48 month suspended sentence and ordered him to pay over $500 in fees and fines.

He will continue to attend drug court and will be on probation not to exceed five years.

He has credit for 39 days time served.

“Mr. Plante, don’t mess this up,” said Young.

■ Daniel Alan Pozniak, 51, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to battery that constitutes domestic violence with two or more priors.

In April, Pozniak used force and grabbed a woman by her shirt and twisted her fingers. He then threw her keys down a storm drain.

He has two prior domestic violence charges, both out of Carson City from 2015.

The victim in this case told police that she didn’t want Pozniak to get in trouble.

He is facing up to five years and up to a $10,000 fine.

Pozniak said that he doesn’t believe the victim falls under the domestic violence category, even though the woman told police they were dating on and off again.

“I don’t think I have a chance in trial,” said Pozniak.

While both the prosecution and defense will recommend a minimum sentence, Young wanted it to be clear that he is the only one who can make that decision.

“I may very well max you out,” said Young.

Sentencing was set for Aug. 30 at 9 a.m.

■ Jarrett Ray Liedlich, 30, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance for a May 2015 offense involving heroin.

A simple possession case would normally fall under mandatory probation, but because of Liedlich’s criminal history he doesn’t qualify.

He is facing up to four years and up to a $5,000 fine.

When asked about the specifics of the case, Liedlich said he couldn’t remember because he was so high.

“I don’t recall that night very clearly,” said Liedlich.

Young asked why he would plead to something he doesn’t even remember doing.

“It appears the evidence against me is sufficient enough,” said Liedlich.

He asked to be released to go spend some time with his sick father before sentencing.

“His dad may not be the only one who doesn’t survive until sentencing,” said Young. “Sir those drugs will kill you.”

He was released on his own recognizance pending his Oct. 4 sentencing.

“Give me one reason to max you out,” said Young.