Courts gavel

One of 13 people indicted in a drug-trafficking case will spend more than 13 years in prison.

One of 13 people indicted in a drug-trafficking case will spend more than 13 years in prison.

Angelina Maestas was sentenced Wednesday to serve 130 months for methamphetamine distribution and possession, and was sentenced to another 30 months for witness tampering. She was part of a drug ring that operated in the Montrose area and was with others arrested in January, after a lengthy multi-agency investigation that included the work of the Montrose Police Department and Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, who contribute officers to the 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force.

“This is another great result stemming from the major drug investigation and coordinated efforts of the (Drug Enforcement Administration), the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force. This should send a message to drug dealers in our community that there are major consequences for their actions,” Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall said Friday.

“This substantial sentence is an appropriate one for someone that caused tremendous damage to a small Colorado community and then tried to undermine the judicial process by intimidating a witness,” U.S. Attorney for Colorado Jason Dunn said, in a provided statement.

“We look forward to continuing the prosecutions in the case and ensuring that this drug ring is stomped out permanently.”

Maestas pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to distribute meth or a meth mixture and faced at least 10 years in prison.

For most of 2019, Maestas conspired with codefendants Ofelia Lopez and Romeo Lujan to receive multiple pounds of meth, which then went to lower-level distributors, according to federal court documents. She also introduced codefendants Naomi Vaughn and Joseph Davis to a supply source, the documents say, and wired money to Mexico to pay for the drugs.

Vaughn has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and awaits sentencing. Davis was previously sentenced to 151 months in prison.

Lopez and Lujan’s cases are ongoing, as are those of the remaining defendants: Omar Briceno-Quijano; Luis Alberto Ibarra-Tade; Jonte LeFlore; Dustin Debarris; Steven Keith Jones; Frank Arroyo; Amanda Sumpter and Nicole Wickman.

After being released on bond in her drug case earlier this year, Maestas was again arrested in May for posting to social media protected grand jury information that identified a codefendant as an informant. The post generated threatening comments related to the codefendant.

“The DEA applauds the sentencing of Maestas,” said Special Agent in Charge Deanne Reuter of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Denver field division, also in a provided statement.

“It sends a clear message that the people of this community won’t tolerate these peddlers selling these deadly poisons, or their attempts to intimidate witnesses.”

Hall thanked the involved agencies for hard work on the case, as well as federal prosecutors. “Distribution of illegal drugs in Colorado still comes with heavy penalties,” he said.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

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