19-year-old sent to prison for drug trafficking
November 1, 2011
A 19-year-old Gardnerville man, who refused to disclose his drug suppliers, was sentenced Tuesday to five years in Nevada State Prison.
Gerald Elliott must serve a minimum of two years before he is eligible for parole.
He pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in a controlled substance and faced up to 15 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
“It is anathema to me to send a 19-year-old to prison, particularly this 19-year-old who is not making very good adult decisions about his future,” District Judge Dave Gamble said.
“Six months from now, he’s going to wish he’d made some other decisions to take the first step to leave the drug culture behind. This makes me ill,” Gamble said.
Elliott’s attorney, Tod Young, said he advised his client of his options including a regimental discipline program designed to keep youthful offenders out of prison.
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Without providing “substantial assistance” to law enforcement, Elliott was ineligible for probation which precluded the boot camp.
“Instead, he said to officers, ‘I’m not going to be a snitch. I’m never going to give up my sources,'” Gamble said. “For all those concerned about a 19-year-old going to prison, he has chosen to put himself in a position where my options are completely restricted.”
Young said he couldn’t force Elliott to make any decision.
“He had a number of reasons of not giving up his sources with concerns about his safety. This young man decided the best thing to do was to go through the punishment process,” Young said.
Prosecutor Karen Dustman said Elliott engaged in five separate drug transactions for which he collected more than $4,000.
Douglas County’s Sheriff’s Office Street Enforcement Team conducted numerous purchases of controlled substances from Elliott including 16.8 grams of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (known as Ecstasy or “Moly”), 528 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, and 126 grams of marijuana.
“You made some really, really terrible decisions when you couldn’t find a job, and decided to support yourself by selling drugs,” Gamble said.
Elliott apologized to his family.
“I know what I did was wrong,” he said. “What’s done is done. I’ll try to make the best out of it.”
Gamble gave Elliott credit for 119 days in custody. He also was ordered to pay $4,120 restitution when he gets out of prison.