Andrew Pugh will get treatment

Andrew Pugh will get treatment

Andrew Pugh will get treatment

In Andrew Pugh’s 32 years, he has amassed a significant criminal record. He has served three prior prison sentences. Most of the charges have a connection to drug use, including his latest possession of a controlled substance charge.

“One needs only look at Mr. Pugh’s arrest and conviction record and his booking photo to see where he has been and what he has been doing since he turned 18,” said Public Defender Matt Stermitz. “These are all the sorts of offenses that come about with people who are addicted to drugs.”

Stermitz then pointed out that since Pugh was released from custody he has been supervised by drug court, including random drug testing and he has been clean.

“He looks today remarkably different from the person who was arrested,” Stermitz said. “I don’t think there is a better candidate for drug court; drug court is specifically made for people like him.

The recommendation from the Department of Parole and Probation was to send Pugh to prison — again.

When Pugh was given the opportunity to speak, he said, “I know where I’ve been. I know what my rap sheet looks like. I can’t really take it back.”

Pugh said he had come to Winnemucca for a fresh start, but then went back to drugs. He was arrested with nine grams of methamphetamine. In spite of that, he said being supervised by Drug Court the last few months had given him hope.

Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Michael Montero had some specific questions about whether Pugh had ever had an opportunity to have treatment for his drug addiction. Pugh said he had never participated in a drug court.

“This place has become my safe haven,” said Pugh, adding that he has been volunteering in the community. “I really like this town; I want to start a business here and be legit, not continue to live life the way I have.”

The judge told Pugh he had reviewed his record repeatedly. “I see a young man who has an extremely extensive history of drug use and a significant criminal history but with no help [with drug addiction].”

Montero put Pugh on probation for five years. Pugh will have the opportunity to successfully complete drug court, including random drug testing, group and individual counseling and support of the drug court team.

Montero told Pugh, “I really like this town too. That’s why I live here. I grew up here, I’m raising a family here, I work here. But I don’t appreciate the drug use that goes on in our town. We’re not going to tolerate that. If you don’t succeed, you will go to prison. This is going to be your opportunity. I hope what you tell me is true and that you really intend to make this change in your life.”

Pugh’s probation will come with the usual prohibitions. No alcohol. No marijuana in any form. No controlled substances without a prescription and approval of the drug court team.

He will have to pay for drug testing, drug court and probation supervision. He cannot be present in bars or casinos where alcohol is a major profit center. He cannot enter smoke or vape shops or marijuana dispensaries.