Man gets probation on marijuana charge |

Man gets probation on marijuana charge

by Sheila Gardner

A 23-year-old Gardnerville man was sentenced Monday to probation including 100 hours of community service for his part in the possession of 2,000 grams of marijuana.

Kevin Mullen told District Judge Michael Gibbons he was working to prove that he didn’t belong in jail and to be reunited with his children who are in the custody of the state.

He said the children’s mother also was in custody.

“I am working on a case plan, I am doing parenting classes, I’m trying everything I can to better myself,” Mullen said.

He was arrested in December 2010 after deputies found the marijuana at his residence.

In an agreement with the district attorney’s office, Mullen pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, a felony offense which mandates probation but carries an underlying sentence of up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Mullen has a prior record, but the other offenses were committed prior to the drug charge.

He told the judge he agreed to hold the marijuana for Allen Elseth, but refused at the last minute to give it to him because he claimed Elseth had an underage girlfriend, and was going to distribute the marijuana to schoolchildren.

Elseth called the sheriff’s office and turned in Mullen.

“It sounded good. I had a place, and I let somebody talk me into something I was not comfortable with,” Mullen said Monday, explaining why he agreed to the plan with Elseth.

He claimed Elseth threatened to kill his child.

Mullen said he eventually would have called the sheriff’s office to pick up the marijuana.

“I would have called the sheriff’s office. I didn’t know how to think of a way to finesse into it without my getting into trouble like I am now,” Mullen said.

Elseth has been sentenced to five years in prison on a variety of charges.

Mullen also served seven months in Sacramento during which time Elseth attempted to set up a battery against him.

Gibbons said he was giving Mullen “the benefit of the doubt” as to whether he deserved probation.

The judge said he was taking into account the length of time Mullen had been in custody and his efforts to turn his life around.

“You are extremely borderline,” Gibbons said. “That means that violations will not be tolerated. To send you back to jail now would set you back. If you’re not doing those things you should be doing, you’ll be back in jail.”

Mullen said he hoped to complete criminal justice studies and planned to be a lawyer.

“I got rid of some things wrong in my life,” Mullen said. “I want to better myself and prove to everyone I don’t belong in jail.”

He has prior convictions for spousal battery and resisting a police officer.

Gibbons gave Mullen credit for 48 days in custody. He must abstain from drugs, alcohol and all intoxicating substances for the three years of his probation. He is forbidden to have contact with Elseth.

He must make all court appearances in El Dorado County, Sacramento and Douglas County.

“Stay out of trouble,” Gibbons said.