LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – A former resident of Blythe who was convicted last year of participating in a drug distribution conspiracy, which included the distribution of drugs in Ironwood State Prison, has been sentenced to 41months in federal prison.
Katie Sue Contreras, 39, who is currently incarcerated in the Metropolitan Detention Center, was sentenced Monday afternoon by United States District Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles.
Last June, Contreras pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute controlled substances. Contreras was part of a larger drug organization that operated both inside and outside of Ironwood State Prison in Blythe. The conspiracy included a prisoner who succeeded in smuggling a cellular telephone into the facility. That prisoner, Sergio Luevano, used the phone to orchestrate a large-scale drug operation that distributed methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine. Contreras, who was a cook at the prison, used her position to smuggle drugs into the prison for distribution to the prisoners.
Contreras was one of seven co-defendants charged in the indictment. All of the other co-defendants have pleaded guilty as well. The leaders of the conspiracy, Sergio Luevano and Juan Velasco, were responsible for the distribution of multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine and kilogram quantities of cocaine in the greater Los Angeles area. Both are pending sentencing later this year before Judge Otero, and both face potential sentences of life in prison.
In sentencing Contreras to the 41-month prison term, Judge Otero noted that the drug smuggling compromised the safety of the prison staff, as well as the other inmates. Judge Otero said that in addition to ensuring a proper punishment for Contreras’s crimes, he also wanted to send a strong message that smuggling drugs into prison would not be tolerated.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Stern
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force
Release No. 08-013