Fentanyl drug runner gets up to life for dosing deputies

STATELINE, Nev. – A drug runner, who brought the fentanyl that sent five Douglas County deputies to the hospital last year, was sentenced to up to life in prison on Monday.

Jessica Thomas, 33, was one of two women who participated in an Oct. 20, 2022, drug deal involving more than a pound of the opiate.

Thomas admitted to 13 felony drug charges in August, which complicated sentencing.

During the arrest, the drug got loose and affected the deputies, including one who received five doses of the antidote Narcan to revive him.

On Monday, District Judge Tom Gregory sentenced her to a minimum of 19 years to life in prison.

“The judge pronounced a sentence that I believe will be an aggregate of life with a minimum parole eligibility of 19 years,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Erik Levin said. “However, with the number of counts and trying to determine the various orders of consecutive and concurrent, the final written judgment will prevail.”

Thomas was involved in drug transactions in both Minden and Stateline beginning May 17, 2022.

“Ms. Thomas expressed her sincere regret for her actions in this case,” said defense attorney Brian Filter. “She understands there is a price to be paid for her conduct. She hopes to work hard during her incarceration to improve herself and to eventually contribute in a positive manner to society.”

Her co-defendant, Regina Rojas, admitted to charges back in February and was sentenced to a maximum of 12-32.5 years in prison.

Rojas admitted her involvement in three sales in Stateline where 10 ounces of fentanyl was exchanged for $10,000 on June 2, 2022, 5 ounces for $5,000 on July 20 and 5.25 ounces for $6,000 on Oct. 20, according to court documents.

Thomas’ sentencing was delayed from its original Sept. 18 date.

Tahoe Township justice of the peace appointment set for Thursday

STATELINE, Nev. – Whomever is chosen to be the new Tahoe Township Justice of the Peace will have to file for the position in January if they want to keep the seat.

Douglas County commissioners are scheduled to make the appointment at their 10 a.m. Thursday meeting.

Commissioners interviewed Stateline attorneys Rick Gardner, Mike Johnson and Cynthia Mohiuddin on Sept. 21.

All three candidates are qualified for the position.

Gardner and Johnson have each lived in the township for more than a quarter-century. Mohiuddin moved to Nevada in December 2019 from Beaverton, Ore.

Filing for judicial seats is Jan. 2-12, 2024. It will be one of the rare times that both justice of the peace seats will appear on the ballot at the same time.

It will be the first time in the 21st Century that Tahoe Township Justice of the Peace Richard Glasson won’t be on the ballot.

Glasson was first elected to the seat in November 2000 and re-elected in 2006, 2012 and 2018. The current term ends Nov. 31, 2024.

He told The R-C that he will be done at noon Thursday.

“I have been blessed and privileged to work with our knowledgeable, dedicated and caring court,” Glasson said on Monday. “Their professionalism and dedication continuously promotes the independence, impartiality and integrity of the court.”

He has lived at Lake Tahoe since he graduated from law school and was a local litigator before taking the robes.

Children Megan and Max are Whittell High School graduates.

East Fork Justice of the Peace Paul Gilbert was appointed last year upon the death of Cassandra Jones.

The former longtime East Fork constable told commissioners he wasn’t interested in seeking election to the bench.

Rocky start for 2023-24 gaming year

STATELINE, Nev. – The grand opening of the Tahoe Blue Event Center in September couldn’t have come soon enough for the Stateline casinos.

The main source of Douglas County’s gaming revenue was down 11.35 percent in August with the casinos reporting $26.57 million in revenue compared to August 2022.

The sign for the Hard Rock comes down on Sept. 23. The big guitar out front was already gone.
Provided / Kirk Walder

It was the third month in a row to post a decline compared to the previous year. May was the last time the casinos at Stateline reported an increase over the previous year.

With two months in the fiscal year, so far, the casinos reported a $57.45 million total win, down 7 percent from the $61.8 million win from last year.

The purchase and rebranding of the Hard Rock is underway as the sign and big guitar were removed over the past few weeks.

Renamed the Golden Nugget Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino, the property changed hands at the end of August.

North Lake Tahoe, which includes Incline Village and points west, was down 17.39 percent to $2.47 million.

East Fork and Carson City townships, which are combined for reporting, posted a 1.52 percent drop compared to August 2022 to $11.29 million. So far, the fiscal year has seen $22.7 million for casinos in the two jurisdictions, down 2.27 percent.

The statewide win for August was $1.2 billion, which was less than a point up from last year.


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