DADE CITY — A Zephyrhills man with 20 felonies on his record was sentenced to 10 years in prison this week for having several guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his house.
Jason Rialmo, 30, pleaded no contest to felonious possession of a firearm, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. When investigators went to his house in June, on a tip that drugs were being sold there, they found several high-powered rifles and handguns.
Rialmo tried to run and fought with the deputies even as he was being jolted with a Taser, authorities said. During the struggle, he broke Detective Mark Erickson's nose.
Sgt. Michael Jones, the other deputy at the house, said each time Rialmo tried to get away, he headed into the bedroom — where the guns were.
"This was a fight for our lives," Jones told Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa.
Rialmo entered an open plea, meaning he left his sentence up to the judge. Prosecutors wanted the maximum of 25 years in prison. Rialmo's attorneys asked for a year in jail, followed by a suspended prison sentence and probation.
Rialmo has numerous burglaries on his record, as well as dealing in stolen property, grand theft and resisting arrest. He has been to prison before for violating probation and was on probation for felony battery when he was arrested in June.
Assistant State Attorney Michelle Lavender described Rialmo as someone who can't be rehabilitated.
"This is constant … trouble with the law," she said. "These are serious felonies."
But Rialmo said he has turned himself around. He acknowledged his criminal past and told Siracusa that "prison has taught me that's not the kind of life I want to live."
He has two children, ages 12 and 7, whom he said he is dedicated to raising.
Rialmo also originally faced several drug charges after 3 grams of marijuana and $12,000 worth of painkillers were found in the house. Most of those charges were dropped because the pills, which were locked up in a safe, had been legally prescribed to Rialmo's girlfriend and to his mother.
His girlfriend told the judge on Tuesday that the guns in the house were hers and she didn't know it would get Rialmo in trouble for her to have them.
But when Siracusa asked her what kind and brand of guns they were, she didn't know, even though two of them cost more than $1,000.
"That just doesn't make any sense," the judge said.
"Prison won't benefit you but it'll benefit the community," Siracusa told Rialmo as he sentenced him. "You're not going to be out there doing harm."
Molly Moorhead can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6245.