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Richland man gets year in jail on meth charge

A career criminal was sentenced Tuesday to a year in prison for trying to get a small scale with methamphetamine residue through security at the Tri-Cities Airport.

Ronald Steven Law, 47, pleaded guilty in Franklin County Superior Court to one count of possession of meth.

The charge stems from a Feb. 11 incident in which the Richland man's carry-on bags reportedly contained numerous violations.

A maintenance worker first alerted sheriff's Deputy Justin Gerry about the discovery of a glass smoking device with black and white residue inside and an attached bindle containing a pill and some other substance. A woman who found the items told the airport employee they had been dropped by a man with a mustache wearing a camouflage baseball cap.

At the same time, Law was going through the screening process and was in the sterile area of the terminal while his bags were being examined. Law, who reportedly matched the woman's description, was undergoing a pat-down search by a Transportation Security Administration agent.

Gerry approached the screening area as Law's bags were being searched. Court documents state that TSA agents found liquids, razor knives, an unused glass smoking device, another glass smoking device with a broken bulb and the scale.

Law later told officers that the bags belonged to him, but he had no knowledge of the narcotics or paraphernalia.

Law has a lengthy criminal history with felony convictions dating back to 1988.

A document he signed Tuesday lists 20 convictions, all for nonviolent crimes. They include possession of stolen property, escape, attempting to elude, third-degree assault and multiple controlled substance violations.

Law told the judge that the list "is a complete record to my understanding. I'm very familiar with it."

He asked Judge Bruce Spanner to follow the year-long sentence recommended by Deputy Prosecutor Tim Dickerson. He said he's been locked up since Feb. 18 and has taken steps to get treatment behind bars.

Defense attorney Matt Rutt also said that his client is getting help while incarcerated.

Spanner responded that he is familiar with Law and his history.

"I sincerely hope that this is it for you. That you get treatment and change your behavior," the judge said.

Law already was serving a prison sentence for possessing meth when on July 1 he was ordered to do 11/2 years for two counts of violating a pretrial protection order, both gross misdemeanors. That sentence included six months suspended, which the judge then said would hang over Law's head when he leaves prison.

Tuesday's sentence can be served at the same time as his current prison term.

Pasco man sentenced for abusing teen girl

A 37-year-old man will spend 35 days in jail for sexually abusing a teen girl and making threats to kill her if she told anyone.

Roberto Navarro-Padillo of Pasco was told he can do the jail sentence on work release. His lawyer Norma Rodriguez said he already is checking into the program.

Navarro-Padillo pleaded guilty Sept. 28 to luring.

Pasco police first learned of the abuse in June 2009 when Los Angeles County Child Protective Services forwarded a report on the girl.

The girl had lived in Pasco when she said Navarro-Padilla inappropriately touched her and tried to force her into having sex, with the abuse reportedly escalating over about 11/2 years. The victim also had told authorities that Navarro-Padilla tried to seduce her with keys to a car and later put a gun to his head and made a gunshot noise, which scared the girl, court documents said.

The girl eventually told a sibling, who then told their mother, documents said. They didn't go to authorities until later because they were scared of Navarro-Padilla.

He denied any inappropriate contact when contacted by Pasco police in the summer of 2009.

Navarro-Padillo didn't have anything to say to the court. He was ordered to stay away from the victim and her home.

w Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com

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