District Court Judge Steve Dobrescu sentenced Michael Williams to 60 to 160 months on Monday. Judge Dobrescu also ordered the car Williams drove and the $6,352 to be seized by the county. Williams plead guilty to trafficking controlled substances (methamphetamine) on Oct. 11 of this year. Authorities stopped Williams on March 10 of 2012 when authorities discovered 62.5 grams of methamphetamine, 6.8 grams of cocaine, 24.4 grams of marijuana and 2.4 grams of hashish.
Williams faced a range in sentence of two to 15 years. Williams’ attorney argued for the minimum sentence, saying Williams is fighting an addiction and should get back to Montana where his family and support system is located. Williams’ attorney also said Williams cooperated with authorities and that all his prior convictions can be traced back to his drug use. Letters from Williams’ employer and stepchildren were presented to the court, which gave support to Williams.
Williams also spoke on his own behalf and apologized for his actions.
“I just want to apologize for this whole thing,” Williams said. “I have been an addict for a long time. I feel totally stupid for even being back in this position because I was doing so good. I just had a relapse and every time I relapse, I totally self-destruct. Every time I go all out and that’s kind of what happened here.”
Williams also expressed regret and a desire to be involved in his family’s lives.
“I feel so much shame and guilt over it because I do got a good family that stuck by me and I’ve been in this jail a long time not knowing what’s going to happen,” Williams said. “I’m 800 miles from my family. My two boys…they’re both on the senior varsity football team. I missed all that. My oldest daughter just had a baby. I missed that. My oldest son just graduated from the Marine boot camp. I don’t feel like a hardened criminal.”
District Deputy Attorney Mike Wheable said the state can sympathize with Williams’ desire to be a part of his family, but said drug use is an issue that must be addressed. Wheable requested a 13-year sentence and the forfeiture of the car Williams was driving and the cash found in the car.
“The state believes that Mr. Williams is being sincere,” Wheable said. “How tragic is it and it’s all on him that his use of drugs caused him to not be a part of his sons and his daughter’s lives…It’s a plague in our nation and it’s a plague in our community….The state receives no pleasure for even being in this situation. The only thing the state can say is it’s trying its best to protect the citizens of White Pine County and the state of Nevada and other people in the county from having these drugs introduced in our state.”
Dobrescu said handing down a sentence was difficult because of the “Jekyll and Hyde” nature of Williams’ character, but that the amount of drugs and the number of prior felonies in his past prevented this from being a minimum sentence case.
“On one hand I have these letters from these people that you’re a great dad and innocently talking about how great you are and a good worker and then family support and all of that,” Dobrescu said. “I’m sure all of that went into what the State did for you. Your lawyer did a great job. The state cut you enormous slack…If you came in here with a clean record and a bunch of addictions then I could see the low end. But you’re packing this huge baggage. Seven prior felonies. That’s huge, you know that. That’s the baggage you’re always going to carry. Is it a maximum case? No. It’s close, I can tell you that. Is it a minimum case? Absolutely not.”