3 Years Suspended for Smuggling Meth into Correctional Facility

By Leila Katibah

MODESTO, CA – “It’s a lot easier to have good intentions when you’re locked up,” Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Dawna Reeves told a Modesto man here last week who was charged with bringing a controlled substance into a state correctional facility—the man later said he has independently sought substance abuse treatment while in custody.

Victor Origel, III, despite drug abuse rehabilitation not being a condition of his probation, was assessed in an attempt to get a spot in treatment, according to his attorney Rachael E. Bills.

Judge Reeves warned Origel, “If you don’t carry through with those intentions when you’re on the outside, you’re going to spend a lot of time in custody, because eventually these drug problems are going to hurt someone, and it’s no longer going to be in your control.”

The accused pleaded no contest to a felony charge, admitting “he knowingly brought into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center 0.0313 grams of methamphetamine, which was confirmed by the Department of Justice to be a usable amount,” stated Deputy District Attorney Henry H. Kim.

DDA Kim also noted the meth was intentionally brought into the penal institution for consumption.

Judge Dawna Reeves explained to the defendant that a no contest plea is the same as a guilty plea in this jurisdiction, and that she found him guilty of the felony offense.

“The maximum sentence you could receive for this offense is four years,” said Judge Reeves. The accused agreed to a three-year term, and Judge Reeves explained to him “you will serve a three-year term if you violate the terms of your probation.”

DDA Kim and Judge Reeves agreed upon suspending the sentence for 24 months in the form of felony probation, provided he does not violate the probate terms stipulated by the judge.

As a result of the felony conviction, Judge Reeves told Origel he is prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition for the rest of his life.

His other felony charge for possession of a dagger and misdemeanor charge for driving under the influence were dismissed in exchange for his no contest plea to the felony.

About The Author

Leila Katibah is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is double majoring in Sociology and Middle East Studies with a minor in Professional Writing. After graduating, Leila plans to attend law school to pursue a career in Public International Law.

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