A Moffat County District Court judge handed down 11.5 years total prison time Wednesday to two suspects for drug convictions.
Julio Cesar Carlin-Robles, 37, pleaded guilty to distribution of a controlled substance, a class 3 felony.
Arcadio Contreras-Alcala, 28, pleaded guilty to possession of a schedule 2 controlled substance, a class 5 felony.
They appeared last week before Michael O'Hara, chief judge of the 14th Judicial District, for a sentencing hearing.
The two men were part of a crew the All Crimes Enforcement Team arrested in March at an apartment complex in the 400 block of Tucker Street in Craig. Authorities alleged the men operated one of the largest drug trafficking operations in Northwest Colorado.
Contreras-Alcala was one of the names on the lease at the apartment complex.
O'Hara gave Carlin-Robles the stiffest sentence - 10 years Department of Corrections prison time. Prosecutor Jeremy Snow recommended he receive 12 years in DOC.
According to the sentencing order, Carlin-Robles will receive credit for 189 days time served. He also is ordered to pay $3,619 in assessed fines and costs.
His guilty plea was part of an agreement with the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
In exchange for the guilty plea to the distribution charge, prosecutors dismissed two possession of a controlled substance charges, and a conspiracy to distribute charge.
Contreras-Alcala also agreed to a deal: a guilty plea on the possession charge in exchange for dismissals of two counts of possession, and distribution and conspiracy charges.
The judge sentenced him to 18 months DOC prison time - a year short of the three years Snow recommended - with 189 days credit for time served. He also is ordered to pay $1,219 in assessed fines and costs.
Snow said the sentencing recommendations he made were the maximum allowed under the plea agreements with the two men.
In a letter to the court read by a Spanish interpreter, Contreras-Alcala said he thought drugs seized in the apartment were for personal use rather than distribution.
Although he requested a year DOC time, he told the court he was "ready to pay for whatever comes my way."
Snow said more than 10 ounces of drugs were seized at the apartment and that facts don't support Contreras-Alcala's claim that he didn't know what was happening in the apartment.
"He knew what was going on," Snow said, adding that the defendant provided a "haven for drug dealers."
Contreras-Alcala was pleaded down, Snow said, because "he wasn't the main player." Although he wasn't the ringleader, the prosecutor said he believed a one-year sentence was "pretty lax."
O'Hara told Contreras-Alcala that he should have addressed the activities that were happening at his home, and then handed down the 18-month sentence.
As of Monday afternoon, Carlin-Robles and Contreras-Alcala were in custody at Moffat County Jail awaiting DOC transfer.
Joshua Roberts can be reached at 875-1791, or email@example.com.