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Las Cruces repeat offender receives 5 1/2 years in prison

A Las Cruces man has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamine.

On June 30, 2014, Las Cruces Police Officer Alexander Smith was on patrol and observed a woman walking on Valley Drive who appeared to be crying.

Officer Smith recognized the victim from previous encounter and the woman told him she had been in an altercation with her boyfriend who had been using drugs all night.

Smith took the woman to La Casa for assistance and a short time later found her boyfriend, Jeffrey Varela.

Police say that among his possessions was a small plastic bag containing .06 grams of methamphetamine.

Varela has twice been convicted of Battery on a Household Member involving the same victim, most recently on February 24, 2015, according to police.

In that case, he also received the maximum jail sentence of 364 days.

On that same day, Varela was also held in direct contempt of court by Judge Conrad Perea.

He was also on probation for a previous Battery on a Household Member committed against the same victim when he was arrested on June 30, 2014.

At sentencing for that case the victim spoke before a judge on Sept. 2, where she described the effect Varela’s violence and drug use had on her life and asked Judge Macias give Varela the maximum sentence allowed by law. Prosecutors also requested the same sentence.

Varela’s extensive criminal history include convictions of Battery of a Household Member, Burglary, Resisting Evading or Obstructing an Officer, Fraud, Theft of Identity, Unlawful Use of a Credit Card, direct contempt of court, and numerous probation violations.

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