US Attorney – GREELEY MAN SENTENCED TO 16 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING

April 26, 2012

DENVER – Miguel Angel Velasquez, aka “Outlaw”, age 28, of Greeley, Colorado, was sentenced this week by U.S. Circuit Court Judge David M. Ebel to serve 192 months (16 years) in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, including 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine, 500 grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, and 50 kilograms or less of marijuana. Following his 16 year prison sentence, Velasquez was ordered to serve 5 years on supervised release.

On April 21, 2010, Velasquez and twelve other defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver. Velasquez pled guilty before Judge Ebel on April 21, 2011. He was sentenced on April 24, 2012. The cases against co-defendants of Velasquez have been resolved with the exception of two, who remain fugitives.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the defendant’s plea agreement, in October of 2008, the Greeley Police Department and the Weld County Drug Task Force (WCDTF), was introduced to an investigative target by a confidential informant. The target, Miguel Velasquez, was selling ounce-type quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine, and was also selling marijuana in pound quantities around the Greeley area. During the course of the investigation, a WCDTF Undercover Task Force Officer did a number of hand-to-hand transactions with Velasquez. As the investigation progressed, transactions between the defendant and the Task Force Officer continued, with the amount of drugs being purchased increasing, including the sale of two ounces of cocaine, one quarter ounce of methamphetamine and a firearm on September 29, 2009.

While working on the investigation, law enforcement agents and officers identified a number of out-of-state individuals from California and Texas border towns involved in the drug trafficking. Specifically, law enforcement learned that Velasquez obtained his drugs through couriers or runners that he sent to California. Those couriers delivered money and brought back narcotics. Velasquez also traveled personally with a female co-defendant to Texas on at least one occasion to obtain drugs.

The investigation culminated on November 23, 2009, when the female co-defendant was stopped by police officers as she traveled back with a load of methamphetamine from California. The woman was transporting the meth at the direction of Velasquez. In total she was carrying 6.3 pounds of meth that was 100 percent pure. The estimated street value of the methamphetamine was over $300,000.

Regarding the marijuana, the female co-defendant was asked to travel to Santa Ana, California where she picked up five pounds of marijuana. She then picked up some friends of Velasqeuz. The group then traveled to Las Vegas, where they picked up methamphetamine. The female co-defendant then drove to Greeley, where they took the drugs into her apartment. The drugs were broken out, inspected, repackaged and smoked. The methamphetamine was of poor quality.

“This lengthy prison sentence demonstrates one simple fact, that drug dealing will lead to prison,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Thanks to the hard work of all involved, including the Assistant U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the Greeley Police Department, the Weld County Drug Task Force, and the Weld County District Attorney’s Office, multiple drug dealers have been removed from the streets of Greeley.”

“This investigation and resulting conviction should send a strong message that we continue to work tirelessly with our partners in law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to curtail large-scale drug trafficking in northern Colorado,” said James Yacone, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Denver Division Field Office.

“These are the results you get when agencies work together, and we intend to do this into the future,” said Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner.

This case was investigated by the Weld County Drug Task Force, the Greeley Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Weld County Drug Task Force is comprised of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, the Greeley Police Department, and the Evans Police Department. The Weld County District Attorney’s Office also played a significant role in this matter.

Velasquez and his twelve co-defendants were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys M.J. Menendez and Kasandra Carleton.

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