McCook man sentenced to probation on drug charges

Monday, January 12, 2015

McCOOK, Neb. -- A McCook man facing a combined 16 offenses in three different criminal cases, including six felony charges, was sentenced to probation last week in Red Willow County District Court. The offender, 39-year-old Ryan R. Stecker of 604 W. Fourth Street, accepted a plea agreement in November admitting guilt to three Class IV felony offenses for possession of methamphetamine; and two Class I misdemeanor offenses for attempted distribution of a controlled substance and attempted possession of a controlled substance.

Stecker was subsequently ordered to serve 36 months probation on each felony offense, to be served at the same time.

The plea agreement dismissed a Class IV felony offense for possession of hydrocodone and reduced a Class IV felony offense for possession of methamphetamine to the misdemeanor attempted version; in addition to dismissing two infractions for possession of marijuana, two infractions for possession of drug paraphernalia, two Class II misdemeanor offenses for operating a vehicle without registration or insurance, a Class II misdemeanor for possessing oxycodone in an unauthorized container, and traffic violations for possessing an open alcohol container and having a defective taillight. A Class 3 felony alleging possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver was reduced to Class IV felony for possession; and a Class IV felony for possession of a controlled substance was reduced to the misdemeanor attempted possession charge.

Stecker originally faced seven charges stemming from a October 2013 traffic stop, which was prompted by a defective taillight and expired plates. He was charged with an additional six offenses approximately a month later after his vehicle was spotted speeding 75 mph in a 50 mph zone. The third criminal case added another three offenses after a drug sniffing dog attracted law enforcement officers to Stecker's vehicle in April 2014, while it was parked at the Red Willow County Courthouse.

Stecker was also the drunk driver responsible for the 2008 rollover accident on the 700 block of East A Street, which sheared a power pole, caused a natural gas leak, and sent him and a passenger to the Kearney hospital via emergency response helicopter.

Other activity in Red Willow County District Court, Jan. 5, 2015:

* 20-year-old Kyle D. Lauer of 805 E. Sixth Street received probation as a result of several drug related charges. Lauer admitted guilt in November to a Class I misdemeanor offense for attempted possession of methadone; a Class 3 misdemeanor for possession of cyclobenzaprine; and an infraction for possession of drug paraphernalia. During last week's sentencing hearing he was ordered to serve 24 months probation and pay a $100 fine.

Lauer was originally facing two Class IV felonies alleging possession of methadone and tampering with evidence, in addition to the cyclobenzaprine and drug paraphernalia violations.

The charges stemmed from a traffic stop in March which occurred after a law enforcement officer spotted 19-year-old Holli E. Oltmer of 1408 East Circle Drive smoking from a glass pipe in a vehicle Lauer was driving. Oltmer was sentenced to 18 months probation in July after being convicted on three misdemeanor offenses, including illegal possession of cyclobenzaprine, possession of a legend drug and attempting to destroy evidence.

* 35-year-old Alan M. Garcia of 712 W. Fourth Street was sentenced to 12 months probation for the theft of a cell phone belonging to Trina McPherson. Garcia accepted a plea agreement in November reducing a Class IV felony theft charge he was facing to a Class I misdemeanor version.