For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has secured a conviction in a case involving the sale of narcotics in the presence of a child. The prosecution stemmed from a 2015 investigation into heroin sales by a drug dealer who brought his 18 month old son to a drug deal in April of that year. The defendant was convicted of three separate felony drug related charges and faces up to 36 year in prison.
Orville Samuel Curtis, 38, from Reno was convicted last Wednesday on one count of Unlawful Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Presence of a Child, one count of Unlawful Sale of a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy to Sell a Controlled Substance in Washoe County District Court after a three day jury trial. Curtis was arrested in April, 2015 and the case was originally set for May of last year. However, Curtis absconded and was arrested on a fugitive warrant connected to this case in November, 2016
The case against Curtis began on April 10, 2015 when detectives with the Regional Street Enforcement Team (SET) began an investigation into narcotics sales being carried out by Curtis in the Reno area. Curtis was subsequently arrested selling heroin in the parking lot of the Walgreens located on North Virginia. When SET detectives contacted Curtis, they found that he had brought his 18 month son to the drug sale. A subsequent search of the car Curtis was driving located 2 grams of heroin and .4 grams of methamphetamine. Curtis was arrested and the case proceeded to trial.
During trial, Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Nathan Maclellan established the drug sales and presented compelling evidence of witnesses having herd the child in the background when Curtis was arranging the drug deal. DDA Maclellan argued that, while the case was about heroin sales, it was also about Curtis carelessly risking the safety of his 18 month old son by bringing him into his drug dealing world. He added that, while Curtis made a choice, his son did not have one.Sentencing is set for July 5, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in Department 7 of Washoe County District Court