Teen sent to prison for drug trafficking
January 6, 2010
GARDNERVILLE, Nev. – A 19-year-old Gardnerville man who admitted possession of 90 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms was sentenced Tuesday to five years in Nevada State Prison for trafficking in a controlled substance.
“There is no good part of this, but good can come from it depending on how you treat it,” District Judge Dave Gamble told Michael Dowd.
Dowd was arrested in August on Kimmerling Road with a bag of mushrooms and marijuana in his vehicle. He also had $373 in small bills and a scale.
Nevada statute mandated that Gamble send Dowd to prison for the offense. He is eligible for parole in two years. Gamble said he would not impose a fine of up to $100,000 unless it was mandatory.
“I messed up,” Dowd said. “I would like to say to my family I am sorry.”
Lawyer Tod Young said he’d seen his client begin to mature.
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“He told me prison wouldn’t be so bad because he could play basketball and get alcohol whenever he wanted. I told him he had no idea what prison is like. Through the three months he was in jail, he was starting to get the idea,” Young said.
He also said Dowd’s father – an ex-felon who has been clean for 10 years – was able to get through to him.
“He’s just been an immature child living life like it was nothing,” Young said.
“There is a bigger tragedy than you going to prison,” Gamble said. “You’re going to be 21-22 years old when you get out, and can expect to have 60-70 more years in your life. The tragedy would be if you treat this prison sentence as just another day in the life of Michael Dowd instead of treating it as the most tragic event in your life.”
Gamble told Dowd he would forfeit his future “if you decide people living in those cages are the type of people you want to live with the rest of your life.”
Or, “you can do every single program you’re presented in prison and glean something good. This is the time when you have to decide this is the last time you’re going to be in front of somebody like me,” the judge said.