A retired Menlo Park firefighter was sentenced in Santa Clara County court Thursday to 12 years and four months in prison for attempting to have his wife killed, according to the district attorney's office.
James Guasch, 52, was found guilty Monday of solicitation of murder and possession for sale of pharmaceutical drugs, county officials said.
According to the district attorney's office, Guasch allegedly solicited two undercover county enforcement team agents to kill his wife and dump her body into a mineshaft in the Nevada desert.
He was introduced to the agents by a confidential informant and reportedly paid them a retainer with a bottle of Oxycodone, the district attorney's office reported.
The incident occurred while Guasch and his wife were in the midst of a highly contentious divorce that involved an estate estimated to be worth $15 million.
A large amount of prescription drugs, methamphetamine, ammunition, counter surveillance equipment and video of his wife's residence were discovered in Guasch's home during a search, according to the district attorney's office.
The Menlo Park Fire Protection District today released a statement regarding Guasch, who worked for the district from 1980 to 1989, when he left on a disability retirement.
"The charge is out of character for not only a firefighter, but especially for a firefighter with the (district)," according to the statement. "Our personnel normally exhibit the highest of human qualities in their personal conduct, attitude and unselfish service to others. It is clear that Mr. Guasch lost his way after he left the agency in 1989. Our personnel are deeply disturbed by the negative attention this places on them and the agency."