Short Sentence, Long Rap Sheet

He has ‘unbelievable’ drug history, felonies, but proves a useful witness

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A man with eight prior felony convictions and an “unbelievable” history of substance abuse is heading back to a prison cell after a judge sentenced him for two more felonies Monday.

Miguel Junior Samarripas, 33, will serve five years in prison for selling a stolen PlayStation and stealing a receiver from Walmart.

He could have gotten a far worse sentence due to his lengthy criminal record, but because he testified against Martin Douglas Slover in a recent case, the Gila County Attorney’s Office cut him a deal.

Slover got seven years in prison for beating up his girlfriend, locking her in a bathroom and then chaining her to a box. It is unclear how Samarripas knows Slover or what testimony he offered, but his cooperation shaved a few years off his own sentence.

Gila County Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill could have given Samarripas up to 8.9 years, but agreed to accept the prosecution’s recommendation of five years.

Cahill rattled off Samarripas’ extensive criminal history. It is a story that has followed a similar plot for years: arrest, incarceration, release and then quickly arrested again. His convictions and sentences include a 1998 conviction in Gila County; a 2.5-year sentence in Maricopa County in 2002 for using narcotic drugs; a 2.5-year sentence in 2003 for burglary; a guilty plea for criminal trespass in 2005; a 2.5-year sentence in 2007 for aggravated assault on a police officer; and convictions for aggravated DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct last year.

The other constant in Samarripas life has been drugs, according to a presentencing report.

Barry Standifird, Samarripas’ lawyer, described Samarripas’ level of substance abuse as “unbelievable” and “shocking.”

Samarripas told a probation officer he had used marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and inhaled toxic vapors since he was 14. In addition, started on heroin at age 21 and spice at age 32.

“Defendant recognized by leading a self-destructive lifestyle of drug abuse, (it) has been the underlying factor behind his criminal behavior and the reason why he is back before the court facing another term of imprisonment,” a probation officer wrote.

Samarripas has never held a job and only finished the ninth grade.

He told the court he was sorry.

“I sincerely apologize for my crimes and wish I could take back what I did,” he said. “I regret what I did and feel much remorse for what I’ve done.”

On July 12, a woman called police to report an earlier burglary at her home, including her cell phone and her son’s PlayStation III, games and controller. Samarripas had been at the home earlier and was seen riding his bike around the area, but he denied any involvement.

A few months later, someone tried to sell the stolen PlayStation at a pawn shop. Samarripas told police he had tried to sell the PlayStation after a friend gave it to him. When he couldn’t sell it at the pawn shop, he gave it to a friend. He denied burglarizing the home, according to the presentencing report.

Then in October of 2012, Samarripas grabbed a digital receiver from a shelf at Walmart and ran out. He told probation he planned to sell the item for drugs.

Samarripas’ sentences included five years for trafficking in stolen property and 3.5 years for retail theft, although he’ll serve both terms at the same time.

Comments

H. Wm. Rhea III 2 months, 1 week ago

So the perp can't make it in society due to his drug habit and then gets a few years less in prison for being a good snitch. Just what lessons is he going to learn from this fiasco he's made of his life. Perhaps it's time to give all the drugs he wants - at one time and let him remove himself from the gene pool!

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Kim Chittick 2 months, 1 week ago

Amen, Mr. Rhea!!

So, the estimable Mr. Samarippas has "never held a job" and "only finished ninth grade". And, "he had used marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and inhaled toxic vapors since he was 14. In addition, started on heroin at age 21 and spice at age 32." Incidentally, isn't age 14 right about ninth grade?

We all make choices in life. Good, bad, or indifferent, each of us makes choices every minute of every day of our lives.

Personally, I think that Mr. Rhea's suggestion is a good one, only make whatever substance these people want, readily available and free, so that they are not tempted to steal from others in order to obtain what they want. The theory of natural selection will take care of the rest.

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Art Goodoy 2 months, 1 week ago

Well, thanks to this article Mr. Samarippas will forever be known as a snitch. Good luck in prison.

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