Arturo Manuel Valdez attends his sentencing hearing virtually from the Humboldt County Detention Center due to covid-19.
Arturo Manuel Valdez attends his sentencing hearing virtually from the Humboldt County Detention Center due to covid-19.
Arturo Valdez was ordered to serve a 19 to 48 month prison sentence on a category E possession of a controlled substance charge. 

The nature of the charge would normally mean a mandatory diversion program and the opportunity to complete a term of probation and treatment, but in this instance Valdez has had two prior drug convictions and the court is not obligated to defer judgment under Nevada Revised Statutes. 

Humboldt County Public Defender Matthew Stermitz asked the court to defer judgment and said that Valdez, his client, intended to “clean himself up and remain in the community.” 

Humboldt County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kevin Pasquale said that based on Valdez’ history of two prior convictions including a prison term, parole revocation and a dishonorable discharge, that he is not a good candidate for diversion or probation and recommended prison. 

Valdez told Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Michael Montero that while sitting in jail since September, he found out that family members have been sick and began to change some of his habits and read the Bible, along with sharing that and other helpful books with other inmates whom he said also began to change their behavior while incarcerated. 

“I asked for the Bible and started reading the Bible, I give thanks for every meal, wake up in the morning and clean every single day and just doing little things because those little things can build up to big things that I can accomplish,” said Valdez. 

Valdez also thanked the court for not letting him out of jail as it allowed him to realize how he wanted to change his life for the positive and help others do the same and he realized that people care about him and themselves more than he previously realized. 

Valdez was previously arrested in February 2016 and allowed to participate in drug court on a deferred sentence program, which was later revoked and he was ordered to 12-32 months in prison in December. 

Valdez later had another felony drug conviction on which he was ordered a 12-32 month prison sentence and given the chance to complete five years of probation, which was violated, sending him to prison again in January 2017. 

In addition to the current 19 to 48 month prison sentence with 84 days credit for time served, Valdez was ordered to pay a $3 DNA collection fee, $25 administrative assessment fee, $60 forensic fee and $500 public defender fee.