Seventh sentenced in Tahoe drug ring case
April 11, 2019
A seventh person arrested in connection with a drug ring operating out of the Lake Tahoe Basin was sentenced on Tuesday.
Shawn G. Stenzel, 28, received the recommended 12-30-month prison sentence.
"I'm ready to put this behind me so I have a better chance with life," he said.
Stenzel pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking 4-14 grams of heroin in connection with an arrest.
District Judge Tod Young followed the recommendations of parole and probation, the defense and prosecution in sentencing Stenzel, though he pointed out the South Lake Tahoe resident's criminal record.
"You have a horrible history," Young said. "There's every reason to lock you up for a really long time."
Recommended Stories For You
A South Lake Tahoe woman who was sentenced to up to six years in prison for trafficking reported to Douglas County Jail on April 4 for transfer to state prison.
Shantell Mae Marullo, 41, received consecutive 1-3 year sentences for trafficking in heroin and sales of a controlled substance.
Marullo received the same sentence as that of Adam Guenther, 28, who was convicted of trafficking and sales of heroin in February.
The longest sentence issued in the drug ring arrests was that of Riyantyler Hudson, 31, who received 6-15 years in prison for trafficking in methamphetamine in late December.
So far only one person has received a suspended sentence in the case, Christopher Mendonca, 23, who received an 18-48-month prison sentence for sales of heroin.
An eighth subject, Zephyr Cove resident Kevin Bonovich admitted Feb. 19 in Douglas County District Court to selling heroin and possession of methamphetamine. The defense and prosecution both recommended his sentence be deferred while he participate in the Western Nevada Regional Drug Court.
One of the ring members, South Lake Tahoe resident Lance Logan, 31, was sentenced to five years and four months in California prison on two counts of child abuse on Nov. 19, 2018, a dozen days after news about the drug busts broke. Logan was convicted after authorities found a 1-year-old and 3-year-old wandering naked in a South Lake Tahoe parking lot in October 2017. The police found Logan and the boys' mother were under the influence. Prosecutors said the 1-year-old tested positive for cocaine.
One of the first cases that came to light in the case was that of Joshua Edwards, 33, who is serving three four-year prison sentences for trafficking and sales of a controlled substance.
On Monday, Douglas County Sheriff's Capt. Dan Britton told commissioners that the amount of drug seizures were up significantly.
He said the sheriff's office took in 182 grams of heroin and 843 grams of methamphetamine during 2018.
Britton said it wasn't that long ago that heroin was relatively nonexistent in Carson Valley.
Sheriff Dan Coverley asked commissioners for three additional deputies, saying the amount of narcotics cases are increasing.
He said that information on the murders of Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken in the Gardnerville Ranchos indicated they were killed during burglaries to obtain money for drugs.
"The murders of two the women were an example of the relation of narcotics and violent crime," he said.