Tahoe drug ring member gets 6 years
March 27, 2019
A South Lake Tahoe woman received up to six years in prison on Tuesday after she admitted to trafficking in heroin.
Shantell Mae Marullo, 41, was sentenced to consecutive 1-3-year terms in prison in connection with two 2018 sales.
She pleaded guilty to charges of trafficking and sales of a controlled substance.
District Judge Tod Young gave her until April 4 to surrender to begin her sentence.
He warned her that if she didn't turn up, it was unlikely she would get out after just the two years.
Marullo was one of eight people arrested in a Lake Tahoe-based drug ring.
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She admitted to selling heroin on March 12 and again on June 6, 2018.
"In a way I'm grateful this happened," she told Young before her sentencing, saying it gave her an opportunity to be sober for the first time in 20 years.
Attorney Maria Pence said Marullo took prescribed opioids after a back injury for 15 years before her insurance changed. Then she started using heroin, which led to her selling the drug to support her habit.
A man with a long criminal history was sentenced to 12-30 months in prison for possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Lee Najera, 64, of South Lake Tahoe appeared in Douglas County District Court on Monday.
Najera was arrested in Stateline on Sept. 3, 2018, after a deputy spotted him stumbling along Highway 50 carrying a bag of what turned out to be methamphetamine.
Najera admitted the charge on Jan. 28.
Prosecutor Erik Levin said Najera had a checkered criminal past including convictions for five felonies and 28 misdemeanors.
Defense attorney Melissa Rosenthal said until his arrest in September, Najera's record was clear since 2006.
A Las Vegas man won't be allowed to partake in marijuana, medical or otherwise, while he is on five year's probation for possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Martin Radu, 25, received a suspended 12-34-month prison sentence on Monday in a plea deal that resulted in the lower charge.
According to court documents, Radu was arrested Sept. 30, 2017, in a Stateline casino parking lot after a deputy spotted several people gathered around the back of a vehicle.
The deputy walked up to the group where he found Radu with a rolled-up dollar bill in his hand and a bag of what later tested to be cocaine sitting on the trunk.
Defense attorney William Routsis argued with a condition that Radu not use marijuana, saying that if a doctor indicated it was needed, he should be allowed to use the drug.
Radu also was told not to use alcohol or other intoxicants, but he'd told parole and probation that he used marijuana every day.
District Judge Tom Gregory said Routsis was welcome to challenge the condition in writing.
A Sparks woman admitted she had fake currency and drugs on her when she was arrested in January.
Ayshea Novera Qureshi, 30, was ordered released on her own recognizance after she pleaded guilty to the felonies on Monday.
She was stopped Jan. 26 at Highway 395 and Gilman Avenue in a 1995 Mustang without license plates. She was taken into custody after a background check revealed her California license was suspended.
She was released and then taken into custody a month later for after she claimed she missed a drug test date because she was in the hospital, when she wasn't.
She faces 1-4 years and a $5,000 fine on each count. She could also receive probation on one or both of the charges. Drug possession tends to carry mandatory probation depending on the defendant's record.