Meth trafficker gets max sentence
A Lake Tahoe man who was caught with 111 grams of methamphetamine was sentenced to the maximum of 6-15 years in prison on Monday.
Douglas James Best, 49, had nothing to say at his sentencing before District Judge Tom Gregory.
Attorney Maria Pence confirmed that Best was on probation when he was arrested on Dec. 13, 2019 near Elks Point Road by drug task force agents.
According to court documents they found the methamphetamine and 14 grams of heroin under the driver’s seat.
The sentence was part of a plea negotiation that saved Best from a potential life sentence. He received credit for 158 days time served.
Best still has two warrants out of El Dorado County he will have to resolve after he is transferred to the Nevada Department of Corrections. Gregory ordered that Best serve his sentence consecutively with anything he gets in California.
■ A tier 3 sex offender was sentenced to 4-10 years in prison after admitting he had sex with a 14-year-old runaway he met on a dating app.
Gregory Plez Steele Jr., 42, admitted a charge of statutory sexual seduction in connection with the case.
Prosecutor Chelsea Mazza said that while the girl admitted she claimed to be 19, Steele should have known better.
“She was a runaway child and a vulnerable victim,” Mazza said. “She said she doesn’t want this to happen to anyone again.”
Mazza disputed a psychosexual evaluation that indicated Steele was not at high risk to reoffend. She said the evaluation said he was above average in one category.
“The likelihood to reoffend is very high given his criminal history,” she said.
According to the Nevada sex offender registry, Steele was convicted of first degree rape of someone under the age of 14 in Missouri in 2003.