Valley teens sentenced for dealing Ecstasy
May 22, 2007
A 16-year-old Indian Hills youth who admitted two counts of trafficking in Ecstasy was ordered to spend another month in detention before his placement at the Western Nevada Regional Youth Center in Silver Springs.
Juvenile probation officials had recommended Derek Peterson be placed in state custody, but Judge Michael Gibbons said he had more confidence in a local confinement.
“We’re looking at the protection of the community,” said senior juvenile probation officer Tamara Morris. “This is a very serious offense. We believe a drug problem exists and a punitive placement is appropriate.
“Young people need to understand the sale of drugs will not be tolerated. We don’t think the message is getting through,” she said.
His lawyer, Matthew Ence, said he’d seen a change in his young client. Ence said he felt the recommended punishment of state confinement was excessive.
“Any criminal activity related to sales was not done because he was trying to make money or be a drug dealer. He’s trying to support his habit,” Ence said.
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Gibbons ordered Peterson to spend another month in detention while he waits for a placement at the youth center.
Co-defendant Amanda Garcia, 17, was placed on formal probation. She admitted being a principal to the sale of a controlled substance.
She served seven days in detention after her arrest April 24.
“Amanda is not somebody who has been in trouble before, and she’s not likely to be in trouble again,” said her lawyer, Derrick Lopez. “She thought she was doing somebody a favor.”
Gibbons continued disposition for Jesse Glass, 18, who also admitted being a principal to sales.
Gibbons said he would determine whether to sentence Glass as an adult after he hears from probation officer Eric Anderson.
Lawyer Kevin Walsh said his client had been expelled previously for smoking marijuana in the dugout at Douglas High School, but had not used Ecstasy, a synthetic hallucinogenic drug.
That claim was disputed by Morris.
“I have seen Jesse’s ‘MySpace’ page where he goes by the name ‘Pill Cosby’ and it has references to Ecstasy all over it,” she said.
Walsh said he wasn’t sure if adult drug court was the best treatment for Glass.
Garcia and Glass admitted driving Peterson to Reno on two occasions so he could pick up the Ecstasy for distribution in Carson Valley.
As terms of probation, Garcia must perform 48 hours of community service, participate in the juvenile probation department outdoor intervention program for 10 days, and undergo counseling with her parents.
She may not associate with anyone on parole or probation.
The three juveniles were arrested at the conclusion of a two-month investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Street Enforcement Team.