A Gardnerville man was sentenced Tuesday to a maximum of a quarter century in prison for drug trafficking and being a habitual criminal.
David Gomez, 32, will have to serve a minimum of nine years before he is eligible for parole after he was sentenced by Douglas County District Court Judge Tod Young.
Gomez pleaded guilty to trafficking and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. Other charges against him were dismissed.
Gomez said he didn’t want to make excuses for his behavior, but that he believed he was as much a victim of his addiction as anyone else.
“Drugs were the result of the poor decisions I’ve made in my life,” he said. “I’ve been an addict, a drug dealer, an outlaw and a thug in my life. But I’ve spent the last seven months in isolation with a Bible. My only time clean and sober has been when I was in jail or prison. I hope to come out of prison to be a better person, a better father to my children and a better brother to my sisters.”
In sentencing Gomez, Young said he was his own best tool to get better.
“The first tool you have is you,” Young said. “You’ve lived your life as a blight on this community. You can’t rely on God to change you. It’s a matter of you changing you.”
Seven people wrote letters in support of Gomez, including many of his family members.
Young found that it was just and proper that Gomez be sentenced as a habitual criminal. Prosecutor Tom Gregory entered four prior felonies, that Young confirmed were constitutionally valid.
Gomez was given credit for 334 days time served, including the last seven months since he was arrested in California after absconding before he was to appear in district court on the trafficking charge.
This will be Gomez’s third time in prison. He was convicted and sentenced to 1-4 years in prison in March 2006 for selling methamphetamine. In December 2008, he was sentenced to up to six years for eluding an officer.
Gomez had been out of prison for six months in May 2013 when he ran from officers trying to serve an arrest warrant for a probation violation.
He was captured with 27.9 grams of methamphetamine, empty plastic bags, a switchblade, a pay notebook and $457 cash.
He was scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 1, 2013, on the trafficking charge.
He came to the courthouse where he signed a plea agreement, but left the courthouse before his arraignment.
He was on the run for six months before he was captured on March 21 in Antioch, Calif.
During that time he was reportedly spotted by law enforcement riding a dirtbike between Ruhenstroth and California. Officers raided his family’s Ruhenstroth home on Feb. 20 looking for him, finding a sawed-off shotgun and an identity card belonging to Gomez. A charge of harboring him was dismissed against his sister in exchange for her truthful testimony. Gomez later admitted the possession of a deadly weapon charge.
Gomez was remanded to the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections.
He was convicted of the lesser habitual felon charge, which doesn’t carry a life sentence.