Felon passed out in car with gun, drugs in 2019 sentenced to prison

A local criminal who slept in a car with a loaded gun and drugs in 2019 was sentenced to six years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty in Garland County Circuit Court.

David Rico Poda, 34, who has been in custody since his arrest on October 24, 2019, pleaded guilty to and became guilty of meth for the purpose of delivery, possession of a firearm by certain individuals and possession of drug paraphernalia Sentenced to six years in prison for each count for running at the same time, while a more serious charge of co-possession of drugs and a firearm was withdrawn.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Hot Springs Police Officer Joel Crook responded to the 300 block on Fontana Road at around 11 a.m. on October 24, 2019 to get a social check on a man sleeping in a vehicle.

Crook found a man who was later identified as Poda, who slept in the driver’s seat of a 2012 Mitsubishi Galant. He saw a plastic bag between the passenger seat and the center console that contained a “clear crystal-like substance” that later tested positive for meth, 0.7 grams.

Poda was taken into custody without incident, and upon further searching, officers found a glass pipe in the driver’s seat, two lighters in the center console, and a 22-caliber Glock pistol with 15 cartridges in the magazine and a cartridge in the chamber in between the driver’s seat and the console were loaded.

According to court records, Poda was convicted of second-degree burglary and theft of transportation on October 5, 2012 in Pima County, Arizona.

Poda was taken into custody and held by the US Marshals Service along with local bonds.

Poda pleaded not guilty on December 27, 2019, and the case went on trial at one point on October 24, 2020, but continued several times before being made available for a hearing on Monday.

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