A 27-year-old man was sentenced to four years in state prison after Nogales Police Department officers discovered that he was dealing drugs in the area.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Fink sentenced Hector Miguel Villarreal on June 7 after he pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a narcotic drug for sale, a Class 2 felony. Villarreal was given credit for 364 days served prior to his sentencing.

On June 7, 2020, an NPD officer responded to a local gas station in reference to a suspicious person, later identified as Villarreal.

A gas station employee told one of the officers that Villarreal had walked into the store restroom and stayed in there for about an hour. When Villarreal walked out, the store employee found a few items indicating that Villarreal had smoked narcotics inside the restroom.

The NPD officer found a plastic straw, two small clear containers and a piece of foil paper bunched up inside the trash can. The store employee noted that the restroom had been cleaned prior to Villarreal using it.

The employee added that they called authorities after Villarreal began pacing back and forth suspiciously outside of the store.

When confronted by two officers outside the store, Villarreal said he was charging his phone while waiting for his girlfriend to pick him up. He stated he had a BB handgun in the back of his waistband, which officers removed and placed on the hood of a marked vehicle.

The officer then asked Villarreal to lift the front of his shirt, but Villarreal was hesitant and would only lift his shirt partly without allowing the officers to visibly see what he was carrying on his waistband.

While the officers were informing a third officer about the incident, Villarreal took off running towards the back of the store. One of the officers caught up to him, detained him and searched his person before placing him in a marked vehicle.

The search revealed that Villarreal was carrying several pieces of foil paper, two small containers on his left calf and money in a plastic wrap in his waistband. One of the containers had several blue pills inside.

Officers later found that Villarreal was also in possession of several $20 bills that totaled to $620, as well as 661 fentanyl pills, which he said he was addicted to.

Villarreal was then taken to the NPD station for processing. During an interview, Villarreal admitted that he was selling the pills at $20 each and he used the BB gun for protection while conducting his drug deals.

In his presentencing statement, Villarreal said that he wanted to stop using drugs and planned to attend drug addiction classes while in custody. He added that he wanted to become a certified electrician and display good principles in raising his 7-year-old daughter.

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