Fairbury man reaches plea agreement in drug distribution case

BEATRICE – A Fairbury man has pleaded no contest to amended drug charges, avoiding the state pursuing an allegation of being an habitual criminal against him.  40-year-old Gary Ingrao entered the pleas Tuesday, to charges of possession with intent to distribute the drug Alprazolam….and possession of drug money.
He could receive up to five years in prison when he is sentenced, June 16th.

Ingrao’s attorney, Jeff Gaertig sought release of Ingrao so his client could seek inpatient drug treatment.  Gage County District Judge Rick Schreiner declined the request, but lowered Ingrao’s bond from $7,500 to $5,000.

"The presumption of innocence no longer applies. The State of Nebraska at least in this plea agreement tells me that you apparently agree that they could have charged you with an habitual criminal allegation, which means you're a long-time problem in Fairbury, and here. My fear is that you have no plan. If I let you out on an OR (own recognizance) bond, you're going to go out and hit the streets and do exactly what you do, and I'm going to have another felony case. So, if you come up with a plan in there between now and sentencing to do some treatment, then we'll talk about it."

Ingrao originally faced two counts of drug distribution, possession of drug money and driving on a suspended license.

While driving with a passenger, Ingrao was arrested last October 19th when a Beatrice Police officer eastbound on Market Street observed Ingrao’s car traveling the wrong way. The officer knew the driver and passenger had pending drug charges. A subsequent canine scan of the vehicle indicated the presence of drugs.
Police recovered suspected methamphetamine, a cigarette package containing 39 Alprazolam pills and $300 cash.

The female passenger told police that they were selling meth together, but said she was the only one trying to sell the Alprazolam.

Ingrao will be represented by another attorney at sentencing. His lawyer, Jeff Gaertig will soon be sworn in as the new Gage County Judge in the First Judicial District.