Woman sentenced to 7 years for role in drug ring that saw 13 indicted

Naomi Vaughn

A “mid-level” methamphetamine dealer who was one of 13 people federally indicted on drug trafficking offenses last year was sentenced on Wednesday to seven years in prison for her role in the ring.

Naomi Vaughn, 36, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute meth and had faced a maximum of 10 years behind bars.

Vaughn was indicted last January after a months-long investigation by the Montrose Police Department, Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force and federal agents. Surveillance work determined Vaughn and her husband Joseph Davis received multiple pounds of meth at their Spring Creek Road home from others indicted on conspiracy charges, as well as from individuals who have not entered a plea. These drugs then were sold for a profit.

Vaughn fell into criminal activity shortly after Davis was paroled from a 10-year state prison term for drug distribution, prosecutors said.

For his role in the 2019 trafficking operation, Davis was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison.

According to court documents, investigators discovered 143.4 grams of pure meth at Vaughn and Davis’ home last September. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said it also has evidence that, if introduced at trial, would show some of the money generated was wired to Mexico to pay for drugs.

Per Vaughn’s plea, she agreed the total amount of drugs for which she was responsible was at least 1.5 kilograms, but less than 5 kilograms of a mixture containing meth, or at least 150 grams, but less than 500 grams of actual meth.

“Montrose is an important community on the Western Slope,” U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn said in a news release.

“Drug rings operating in small communities can have a devastating impact on the quality of life. I commend our federal and local law enforcement partners who worked tirelessly with our prosecutors to make a real difference for everyone who lives in Montrose and the surrounding area.”

Although illegal drugs persist in Montrose, larger scale busts such as the one that snared Vaughn and Davis are having an impact, Montrose County Sheriff Gene Lillard said.

“It’s starting to have a ripple effect in our community. We’re seeing a difference when it comes to the amount that’s out there right now,” he said.

“The citizens and law enforcement do not want to see active drug dealers in our community. It (the prison sentence) is hard time for them. It’s sad they’ve gotten to that point in their lives, but that’s the direction they went and that’s a poor choice. We have zero tolerance for drugs in Montrose County,” Lillard said.

“This sentencing sends a clear message that those who seek to sell this poison in our community will be caught and dealt with severely,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Deanne Reuter.

“The DEA and our law enforcement partners across the state are committed to eradicating the illegal sale and distribution of methamphetamine and other hard drugs plaguing our communities.”

Also sentenced to prison for her role in the operation was Angelina Maestas, who in November was ordered to spend more than 13 years in federal prison for distribution, as well as witness tampering. Maestas conspired with others to receive multiple pounds of meth and introduced Vaughn and Davis to a supply source, plus sent money to Mexico to pay for the meth.

Ofelia Lopez; Romeo Lujan; Omar Briceno-Quijano; Luis Alberto Ibarra-Tade; Jonte LeFlore; Dustin Debarris; Steven Keith Jones; Frank Arroyo; Amanda Sumpter and Nicole Wickman are also charged in the matter. Their cases are ongoing.

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

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