Judge sends reluctant offender to boot camp
A 19-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man was ordered Tuesday to complete a six-month regimental discipline program designed to keep him out of prison on a burglary charge.
A tearful Benjamin A. Cecchettini asked District Judge Dave Gamble to allow him to live in transitional housing for recovering drug offenders so he would continue his progress.
Cecchettini’s lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said his client had reached a point in his life where he no longer wanted to live the life of an addict. Cecchittini was concerned if he interrupted his recovery to go to boot camp, he would relapse, Lopez said.
He was arrested May 19 after his mother reported jewelry was missing from her home.
Deputies found hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia at his home. Cecchettini told the arresting officers he was an intravenous drug user and had two broken needles stuck in his arm.
Gamble said he agreed with Cecchettini’s recovery, but reminded him that he was being sentenced for felony burglary, a charge which carries up to 10 years in prison.
“Needles broken off in your arm as a result of drug addiction, that’s an 8 or 9 on the Richter scale of drug use. The imposition of boot camp is not a diversion from what you want to do, it’s an added component,” Gamble said.
Gamble said he would delay sentencing pending Cecchettini’s completion of the program which is run by the Department of Corrections.
It’s designed to give youthful offenders an alternative to prison.
“I understand what I did was totally wrong,” Cecchettini said. “I have learned from other addicts. I know I am done with using drugs for the rest of my life. I have recommitted myself to God.”