Probation granted in drug case |

Probation granted in drug case

Staff Reports

A 26-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man, who told a judge Monday he was through with heroin, was ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment as a term of probation.

District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Matthew Price to 32 months in Nevada state prison, suspended, and placed him on probation for three years.

He ordered Price to have no contact with codefendant Heath Penueta or his twin brother, Scott Price, without permission of his probation officer.

The Price brothers and Penueta, 33, were arrested in June on suspicion of distributing heroin in Carson Valley.

Scott Price was not charged; Penueta pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, and was granted a deferred sentence pending successful completion of Western Nevada Regional Drug Court.

Matthew Price pleaded no contest to possession of a controlled substance for sale.

He faced up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Gibbons said he was concerned whether Matthew Price would succeed on probation because of his heroin addiction, and because Scott Price lived with his parents which is where Matthew intended to reside after he was released from jail.

Matthew said he would not be influenced by his brother’s behavior.

“I hate drugs. I was just stuck on it. I hate heroin. I am sick and tired of it, and ready to move away from it,” Price said.

Price’s lawyer, Matt Ence, said despite the arrest, his client engaged in the behavior to get drugs for personal use.

A probation officer said Price could be admitted to the Salvation Army or Reno Gospel Mission program without insurance when a bed is available.

“I just want to apologize,” Price said. “I can promise you it will never happen again.”

Price said he would live with his parents temporarily, and planned to move in with an older brother in Cold Springs.

He is forbidden to use drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants while on probation.

Price is subject to random search and seizure and must undergo a substance abuse evaluation. He must attend a 12-step program and obtain a sponsor.

He must pay all court fees and fines, and earn his high school equivalency certificate within the first year of probation.

Gibbons gave Price credit for 75 days in custody, and ordered him held until Friday. The judge said the five additional days would give officials time to check out Price’s living arrangements, and see if an inpatient treatment program is available.