Pena-Villava pleads guilty in drug case

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The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office and a public defender reached a plea agreement Tuesday afternoon for a 29-year-old man who faced drug possession and distribution charges.

Edgar Pena-Villava pleaded guilty in Moffat County District Court to two counts of distribution of a Schedule 2 controlled substance between 25 and 450 grams and a single count of possession of a controlled substance between 25 and 450 grams with intent to distribute, all Class 3 felonies.

Sheryl Uhlmann represented him.

He faced six total charges. The three dismissed were conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and two sentence enhancers.

Pena-Villava was one of several suspects who the area task force, the All Crimes Enforcement Team, arrested in March on suspicion of operating a drug distribution network in Moffat, Routt and other Colorado counties.

Convictions on the three charges Pena-Villava pleaded guilty to require a minimum of four years Department of Corrections prison time, and a maximum of 16 years.

However, part of the plea agreement caps the prison time he will serve at 12 years. The plea essentially shaved four years from his potential sentence.

The sentences will be served concurrently.

Pena-Villava is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Oct. 9 in District Court.

Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Snow said he will make a sentence recommendation to the court, but rules prevent him from commenting on what the recommendation will entail.

After serving his prison sentence, Pena-Villava, who is in the United States illegally, will be turned over to federal authorities for deportation, Snow said.

In other law enforcement news:

• Craig Police Department officials met Tuesday morning to discuss an ongoing investigation into the Friday death of a 29-year-old Craig woman. Police have called the death "suspicious."

Shannon (Dill) Senkevech, who lived in Craig for 12 years and managed Steamboat Springs jewelry store, All A "Boat" Beads, died at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. Police have not commented on the circumstances surrounding her death.

Her obituary lists the cause of death as a "massive brain injury" (see full obituary, page 12).

On Tuesday, after a review with investigator Jen Kenney, Police Chief Walt Vanatta said the investigation includes looking at an incident Senkevech was involved in earlier this summer at a local bar and interviewing witnesses.

"We're investigating (her death) and it may - emphasis on may - have some relationship to an altercation she was involved in at the beginning of July at a bar," Vanatta said.

Kenney spent part of Monday in Denver, where an autopsy took place.

Vanatta said police are awaiting formal autopsy results and a finding by the county coroner on the cause of death.

The police chief said information acquired through the investigation leads officers to think the death wasn't premeditated.

"Our consensus, at this point, is it was not a premeditated type of crime, or premeditated type of incident," he said.

Senkevech's funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church of Craig, 1150 W. Ninth St. Visitation is scheduled from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Grant Mortuary, 621 Yampa Ave.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 875-1791, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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