Minden man sent to prison for drugs
May 3, 2007
A 39-year-old Minden man was sentenced Tuesday to four years in Nevada State Prison for his part in a methamphetamine sales operation on East Valley Road in the Johnson Lane area.
District Judge Dave Gamble told Steven Hipple he must serve 12 months before he is eligible for parole.
Hipple pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and possession of stolen property.
He was arrested in Jan. 10 with four others following a predawn raid at the home of Tom and Nadine Murray where officers recovered two ounces of methamphetamine with a street value of $5,600.
A motorcycle which had been stolen in Reno also was discovered at the residence.
Lawyer Tod Young argued that his client and Hipple’s brother Roger were drug addicts.
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“The methamphetamine between these two brothers, it’s been horrible. It’s been a scourge in his life,” Young said.
He said Steven Hipple’s prior record “looks really bad.”
Steven Hipple has one prior felony conviction and 15 misdemeanor convictions.
“They all have to do with substance abuse in one way or another,” Young said.
He said Hipple was not involved with sales at the East Valley residence.
“He was mostly hanging out at the house,” Young said. “Nadine was nice to him. She kept him high.”
“I am sorry for the way my life’s been,” Hipple said. “It’s not the life I want.”
Gamble said as beneficial as he believed drug court was, it didn’t address the punitive aspect of situations like Hipple’s where there is property damage and the community has been wronged.
“When a crime has been committed and addiction is part of the picture, drug court is the best bet,” he said. “But the addict ends up being treated only. It’s the missing element in our work with addicts who have committed property crimes.”
As part of his parole, Gamble said it would be his “firmest recommendation” that Hipple be admitted to a long-term drug rehabilitation program.
“You’ve got a whole life ahead of you,” Gamble said. “I hope you live it.”