WCDA Recap of Latest Trials
WCDA Releases Details of Five Sentencings

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4304 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)

The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has secured sentencings in five separate felony prosecutions, two involved charges of Sexual Assault on a Child, two unrelated controlled substance prosecutions, and one Discharging a Firearm at an Occupied Vehicle.

Isaac Rodriguez, age 24 of Reno was sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 36 years. Rodriguez was found guilty of 5 counts of sexual assault on a child under 14, one count of lewdness of a child under 14, and one count of possession of child pornography. The Honorable Judge Hardy presided over the trial and imposed the sentence.

Roy Price, age 42 of Sparks was sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 25 years. Price previously pled guilty to one count of sexual assault on a child under 16.

The Rodriguez case was handled by Reno Police Department (RPD), while the Price case was invested by Sparks Police Department (SPD). In both cases, the victims were known to the defendants. The Honorable Judge Walker presided over the trial and imposed the sentence.

For both cases, Deputy District Attorney Amanda Sage focused on the lifelong impact childhood sexual abuse has on the survivors, and highlighted the District Attorney’s Office’s duty to aggressively prosecute individuals who abuse our most vulnerable populations. Sage also recognized the bravery of the survivors in each case in speaking out against their abusers. The sentences imposed provide justice to these victims and protect the community from future sexual abuse behaviors by these men.

“It is fitting that both of these significant prosecutions concluded with lengthy prison terms during child abuse prevention awareness month,” says Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks. “As a community, we all play a role in preventing child abuse. The District Attorney’s office will continue to prioritize swift and harsh prosecutions against child sexual predators.”

The Washoe County Children’s Advocacy Center opened its doors in June of 2014 as a partnership between prosecutors, local law enforcement, advocates, child protection workers, and medical and mental health professionals. These professionals work together to form a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), whose mission is to ensure the health and safety of the child in a child-friendly environment. The MDT approach is designed to minimize trauma, provide advocacy, and support effective investigations and prosecutions.  Since opening, more than 3,700 forensic interviews of children have been conducted, a number that illustrates the need for such a center in our community.  In 2022, 97 therapy referrals were made to community partners. 

Luis Razo, age 33 of Reno was sentenced to 35 years in prison with eligibility for parole after 14. In May of 2021, Sparks Police Department (SPD) and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) detectives with the Regional Crime Suppression Unit were conducting an operation when they noticed Razo in the area. Razo had been identified as someone trafficking narcotics within Washoe County and had been wanted on a confirmed warrant for an unrelated charge. Detectives apprehended Razo on South Virginia St. and confiscated a combined total of 4.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 31 grams of heroin laced with fentanyl, three firearms, ammunition, and a ballistic vest. During the investigation, a second location where Razo was storing contraband was discovered. There, another 16 grams of methamphetamine were found, along with more firearms accessories. As a result of the investigation Razo pled guilty to charges of Trafficking in a Schedule I Controlled Substance 400 grams or more and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, based on a prior felony. Before entering that plea, while out on bond in July of the same year, Razo was caught committing additional offenses, and pled guilty for another possession charge, this time for Possession of 42 grams or more, but then less than 100 grams of methamphetamine following a separate arrest by the Reno Police Department (RPD).

Josef Thompson, age 25 from Reno was sentenced to 20 years in prison with eligibility for parole after 5. He was arrested in October of 2022, after a Nevada Parole and Probation sergeant located photos of Thompson holding a firearm while doing a routine check, as Thompson was on probation for a previous felony. When officers from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) arrived at Thompson’s home, with the assistance of detectives from the Regional Narcotics Unit (RNU), they found a stolen firearm, 157 grams of cocaine, 196.6 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 12.96 pounds of marijuana, and hundreds of fraudulent OxyContin M30 pills (which can contain fentanyl). Thompson pled guilty to Trafficking in a Schedule I Controlled Substance, 100 grams or more and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Vieta-Kabell argued for the lengthy sentences. Appearing before honorable Second Judicial District Court Judges Hardy and Steinheimer, DDA Vieta-Kabell asserted that the magnitude of the crimes committed justified prison and the sentences were needed to protect the citizens of our community from the significant danger that both narcotics and illegal firearms present.

Laron Edward, age 52 was sentenced to 10 years in prison with eligibility for parole after 3 years. Edward previously pled guilty to the charge of Discharging Firearm at or Into an Occupied Vehicle. On July 8, 2021, detectives from the Nevada Department of Public Safety Investigation Division (NV DPS ID) and the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) responded to a road rage incident on I-80 near the Keystone and Robb Dr. exit. During the investigation, it was discovered that Edward had fired a handgun at another vehicle while both were driving. Immediately after, the vehicle that Edward’s was a passenger in crashed into a semi-truck, killing Edward’s driver.

At the sentencing hearing, Deputy District Attorney Nicole Hicks argued that based on Edward’s violent and lengthy criminal history, and the dangers of his actions, an extensive prison sentence was appropriate.

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