Man gets year for getting cocaine in mail |

Man gets year for getting cocaine in mail

Christina Proctor

A 49-year-old Zephyr Cove man Monday was sentenced to one year in the Douglas County Jail for his part in a cocaine trafficking operation.

Philip R. LeBerge, 49, owner of Tahoe Travelers, expressed remorse for his actions. He pleaded guilty March 30, to one charge of sales of a controlled substance.

“I’m sorry for everything I did and I want to change my ways. I will change my ways,” LeBerge told District Court Judge Michael Gibbons.

LeBerge was arrested a year ago after a weeklong narcotics investigation found about nine ounces of cocaine in a Federal Express package addressed to his business. LeBerge became a state’s witness against Donald Evans Rose Jr., 34, of Tahoe Paradise, who is charged with cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. Rose pleaded not guilty to the charges and his trial is set for Sept. 29.

LeBerge, a longtime resident of Lake Tahoe, was given a suspended sentence of six years in a Nevada state prison and probation not to exceed five years. LeBerge will not face prison unless he breaks his conditions of probation. He also was ordered to do 100 hours of community service and pay restitution.

LeBerge completed a 30-day residential treatment program for his addiction to alcohol and cocaine before sentencing, but Judge Gibbons wasn’t impressed. He pointed out that according to the probation officer, LeBerge came for his probation interview earlier this month with alcohol in his system.

“Someone who is serious about changing their ways doesn’t go to a probation interview with alcohol in their system,” Judge Gibbons said.

Doug Maselli, another South Shore man arrested in the narcotics investigation, was given a suspended sentence of four years in a Nevada state prison, and sentenced to 30 days in the county jail. Maselli was found in possession of a half a gram of cocaine and pleaded guilty to one count of sales of a controlled substance.

Maselli has also become a state’s witness. Maselli was ordered to attend both an in- and out-patient substance abuse program and required to give 100 hours to community service.

Investigators believe Rose was shipping cocaine, via Federal Express, into Douglas County

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