Steve Puterski

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February 27, 2014
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Drug trafficker receives 10-25 years in prison

A former fugitive was slapped on Monday in District Court with a prison sentence of 10-25 years.

William Cross III, 31, who fled his sentencing hearing in July 2013, was arrested in 2012 for drug trafficking. While he may serve up to 25 years in prison, Cross also faces a possible life sentence with parole after 10 years, another option available by statute.

In addition to the 10-25 years, Cross also received a concurrent sentence of one to three years for felony failure to appear after the admission to bail or release without bail. He was also fined $10,000.

Churchill County Chief Deputy District Attorney Lane Mills argued for a life sentence noting Cross’ criminal history, specifically his failure to appear at numerous court hearings, and trafficking drugs.

In addition, Mills said Cross told a confidential source he would shoot anyone who informed on him. Cross, according to Mills, went to California to pick up a “kilo” of cocaine with an estimated street value of $45,000.

Mills also stressed to the court how Cross fled his sentencing hearing in July and fought extradition.

Cross was arrested by the U.S. Marshal Service in October in Kodiak, Alaska. He was working at a cannery on the island, which is more than 400 miles southwest of Anchorage and includes a 180-mile ferry ride.

“He is not some minor player,” Mills said.

Cross’ attorney, Jacob Sommer, said his client presented himself as a more prominent player in the drug game as a way to look bigger than he is. Sommer said his client would say and do things that were not realistic and his imagination would run wild.

Cross read a statement and also gave a lengthy oral statement. He said years of drug and alcohol abuse contributed to paranoia.

The reason he fled, Cross said, was because he was afraid “the world was against me.” He said he started to lose a grip on reality and was “pushed to the brink of my sanity.”

Cross told the court he was not a drug dealer, but a user and worked through his issues in Alaska.

Judge Robert Estes, however, did not agree with many of Cross’ statements and said in fact Cross was a drug dealer.

“It’s not becoming to present yourself as a victim,” Estes added. “You have no idea the pain you caused from running wild for at least a dozen years and that can’t be wiped away in a couple months.”

Cross’s mother, father and pastor all testified and told the court Cross was a decent man who deserves leniency.

In other court news —

Anthony Marquez pleaded guilty Monday in District Court to three counts of burglary.

Marquez admitted to breaking into three storage units at Taylor Place Storage and Spring Valley Storage Center on Aug. 29, 2013.

He faces one to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each count. Marquez is not eligible for probation and will be sentenced April 8.

James Dean Alfonzo-Martinez received a suspended sentence Monday in District Court for conspiracy to commit burglary.

His sentence is for 364 days, but was placed on probation for up to three years.

According to Churchill County Deputy District Attorney Sean Alexander, Alfonzo-Martinez stole and pawned PlayStation 3. He was ordered to pay $349.99 in restitution.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Feb 27, 2014 06:31PM Published Feb 27, 2014 06:31PM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.