Man weighs options in meth case
March 24, 2019
A man accused of giving his daughter a trafficking amount of methamphetamine to hold for him is weighing his options.
John V. Nigra, 55, appeared out of custody in Douglas County District Court on Tuesday.
He faces a charge of trafficking in a controlled substance with the assistance of a minor in connection with his Dec. 17 arrest.
Defense attorney Melissa Rosenthal asked for a two-week continuance of Nigra's arraignment while he considers an offer.
Prosecutor Chelsea Mazza asked District Judge Tod Young to reserve an Aug. 5-9 trial date, saying there had been no negotiations in the case.
According to court documents, the case involves 60 grams of methamphetamine. Only 28 grams are required to increase the level of charge to an A felony, punishable by up to life in prison.
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A South Lake Tahoe man will serve 20 days in jail for contempt after he apparently forged a letter from an employer.
Christopher Servanno Mendonca, 23, was one of eight people arrested in a drug sales ring bust announced in November.
He received a suspended 18-48-month prison sentence on Tuesday after he admitted to a count of sales of a controlled substance.
Mendonca dodged going to prison on Tuesday, but only barely, after District Judge Tod Young, suspicious of a letter called his employer, who said he didn't write the letter.
On the phone, the employer said Mendonca was a great worker and that he would have written a letter.
"I'm flabbergasted that under oath he said the letter came from his employer," prosecutor Ric Casper said. If not for the letter, Casper said he would have recommended probation.
Young found Mendonca in contempt and ordered him to serve 20 days in jail on his weekends.
Mendonca is a heroin addict who was selling to support his habit. He has tested clean for drugs several times since he was released from custody.
A $20,000 nationwide warrant was issued for the arrest of a South Lake Tahoe man who failed to appear for his arraignment on Tuesday.
Richard T. Cutright, 36, was arrested Oct. 16, 2018, in a Stateline parking garage after deputies spotted a man slumped over the wheel of a running pickup.
■ A man who paid $12,000 in restitution to a casino was allowed to withdraw a guilty plea to a felony and convert it to a gross misdemeanor on Monday.
Matthew Betti, 34, was ordered to make full restitution by March 18, 2019.
By doing so, he fulfilled all the terms of his sentence after paying a $1,000 fine and $28 in fees.
According to court documents, Betti bet $1,400 a spin on the Harvey's roulette wheel on May 14, 2017, losing a lot of money. On the way out he punched the roulette table monitor and threw a chair at a poker monitor.