A skateboarder from who turned professional at the age of 16 and went on to win four X Games medals has been sentenced on federal drug trafficking charges, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California. On Aug. 7, the 32-year-old man was sentenced to five years of supervised release including one year of home confinement. He was also ed to pay a $2,000 fine. His 27-year-old girlfriend also pleaded guilty to possessing narcotics with the intent to distribute.

Couple used electronic devices to arrange drug sales

During the course of the investigation, detectives discovered phone records and text messages that revealed the couple used cellphones and computers to arrange narcotics transactions. One of the messages was released to the media by U.S. attorneys in September 2018. About three weeks after the release of the message, detectives from the County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the man’s Encinitas residence.

Deputies find man flushing drugs

The search yielded more than 231 grams of heroin, almost 200 grams of methamphetamine and 196 grams of marijuana. Investigators also found $16,824 in U.S. currency and items often used to package and sell illicit drugs. A second search of the residence in December 2018 also led to drug and cash seizures. On both occasions, detectives say that they found the man in a bathroom attempting to flush drugs down a toilet.

Federal plea deals are sometimes generous

The maximum federal penalties for distributing drugs and trying to destroy evidence are extremely harsh, but the outcome of this case reveals that U.S. attorneys are sometimes prepared to be more lenient when defendants plead guilty. Experienced criminal defense lawyers may encourage prosecutors to be generous in drug charge cases by mentioning mitigating factors such as a willingness to accept responsibility, sincere remorse and a desire to make restitution.