Moffat County meth defendant sentenced to prison



Eli Ramos

Eli Ramos, a resident of Mexico, was sentenced Tuesday afternoon in Moffat County District Court to serve six years in prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute a Schedule 2 controlled substance, a Class 3 felony.

Ramos reached a plea agreement with the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office on July 13. The plea deal stipulated Ramos could not be sentenced to more than six years in prison if he pleaded guilty to the charge.

According to court records, Ramos was arrested Aug. 15, 2009, while driving through Maybell with Utah resident Fernando Rojas.

The two were stopped by two Moffat County Sheriff’s Office deputies, and were found in possession of 99 grams of methamphetamine after the car was searched by a drug-sniffing dog, according to court records.

Ramos appeared Tuesday before Michael O’Hara, chief judge of the 14th Judicial District. Ramos received credit for 390 days served in Moffat County Jail awaiting settlement of his case.

Jon Pfeifer, a Moffat County deputy district attorney, recommended Ramos be sentenced to six years in prison.

“I do feel that a Department of Corrections sentence is appropriate given the quantity of methamphetamine that he was bringing into our community, along with Mr. Rojas,” Pfeifer said.

Attorney John Prater represented Ramos, who does not speak English.

“He made a bad mistake in the way that he was attempting to make some money to support his family in Mexico,” Prater said. “He has got a wife and three children, and he came here in order to take care of his family.”

Prater said Ramos is a “family man” and a “good man” that made a “tragic mistake in judgment.”

Prater asked O’Hara to have Ramos deported back to Mexico.

“He cannot be in community corrections because of his immigration status,” Prater said. “I do a lot of immigration work and I can attest to this court that this type of offense on his record will bar him forever from coming to the United States. He cannot come back.”

Ramos addressed O’Hara through a translator before sentencing.

“The only thing I want to do is ask the people for forgiveness for what I did,” he said. “I am in your hands. I want to live with my children. They need me.”

Before O’Hara sentenced Ramos, he debated Rojas’ sentencing and what punishment Ramos should receive.

Rojas was sentenced July 15 to eight years of community corrections after reaching a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office.

Pfeifer recommended to the court that Rojas be sentenced to eight years in prison. O’Hara, however, sentenced Rojas to Correctional Alternative Placement Services in Craig.

O’Hara said Tuesday the court “does try to balance and sentence similarly-situated people in a similar fashion,” referring to the Rojas case.

“I appreciate that it seems unfair that Mr. Rojas, by virtue of citizenship, was able to come to court and demonstrate everything he had done to give back to the community during the year he was in jail,” O’Hara said. “Mr. Ramos was not permitted those opportunities because of his immigration status.

“It is important to all courts to be fair. I cannot impose a sentence in this case that is going to appear fair to everyone.”

O’Hara said another factor he must take into consideration is if the sentence he gives will “deter others from engaging in this conduct.”

“Simply closing your case and allowing you to go back to Mexico today, in my opinion, would encourage others to engage in this conduct,” he said. “It would demonstrate the risk for such behavior is small.”

Ramos, upon hearing the sentence, pleaded with the judge to reconsider his decision.

“I think it is very unfair that you are sentencing me to six years in prison when Fernando Rojas, who had a major role in this, was sentenced to CAPS,” he said through the translator.

After sentencing, Pfeifer said he thought the sentence was “fair” given the nature of the crime.

“If you bring a large quantity of drugs into our community, you should be sentenced to prison,” he said.

Pfeifer said he was pleased the judge agreed with his sentencing recommendation.

“My job at sentencing is to make an argument, and when the judge accepts an argument I made, I feel like I have done my job,” he said.


Frank Estey 6 years, 7 months ago

Gee, where are your priorities judge, he was only trying to feed his kids by &*%@#! my kids.

“He made a bad mistake in the way that he was attempting to make some money to support his family in Mexico,” Prater said. “He has got a wife and three children, and he came here in order to take care of his family.”


David Moore 6 years, 7 months ago

“He has got a wife and three children, and he came here in order to take care of his family.” This seems to be the standard excuse anymore.

Strange how the other guy went to Club CAPS and this one went to prison. Gotta love it.


als362 6 years, 7 months ago

Next time he wants to feed his family, he should get an honest job, not sell drugs. Had he done that to begin with, he would not be in jail now.


T066J 6 years, 7 months ago

Was Ramos in the U.S. legally or illegally?


Frank Estey 6 years, 7 months ago

“He cannot be in community corrections because of his immigration status,” Prater said. “I do a lot of immigration work and I can attest to this court that this type of offense on his record will bar him forever from coming to the United States. He cannot come back.”

”He cannot come back.”

WHAT??????? Space cadet is in a fantasy world.

Looks as though this guy does not have documentation to live or work in America. He does not have proper documentation to sell drugs, own a gun, hunt or fish, drive a car or do anything legally in this country except go to school and vote.

What in the world is going to stop this guy from coming back into this county whenever he think he is going to think twice before he breaks our law next time?????

Prisons in the US are a much better place, TV, good food, showers n other stuff, to live than the hole he came from.


Frank Estey 6 years, 7 months ago

He probably has a valid divers license and someone else’s Social Security card, so if he were motivated he might wander over to vote.


Lawspecialist 6 years, 7 months ago

The problem is corruption. After this man gets to go back to Mexico for free, compliments of our transporters, he can simply visit those who, for quite a high price, can speak to the "insiders" at the government offices just on the other side of US soil and purchase documents which provide him with a different name, and all the necessary documents he needs to come back to the US... WHICH... will prove legitimate when scanned into the "system" and then he gets a new life with a new name and no record! Yay! Welcome to the United States! Ugh. Now I agre we should seal the border, however, that will never happen. Government officials will lead you to believe they are in the process of getting things under control, but such is not the case. It has been said, at the Denver Mint, they are making the Amero and in MY OPINION, the borders between Canada, US and Mexico will all be dropped. Implementation would involve these three countries giving up their current currency units (U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, and Mexican peso) and adopting a new one, created specifically for this purpose. (The concept is modeled on the common European Union currency (the euro), and it is argued to be a natural extension of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP).

Although no current members of any country's government have officially stated a desire to create such a body, nor has anyone introduced a common currency as part of this concept, I believe the government will gradually introduce and enforce the program. My point being that knowing these things, is it just a waste of time and money to send them back? Every illegal we send back just means more money for their corrupt government. It appears to be a constant win/lose situation.


RichardBarbosa 6 years, 7 months ago

Lawspecialist, I so hope you are wrong about the Amero. Canada and the United States have lived peaceably side-by-side as good neighbors, each of which respects and is respected by, the other. If you are correct and the Amero is being minted at this time, then that is the sort of sneaky, dishonest, subversive activity that causes most Americans to distrust Soetoro/Obama/whatever his name happens to be this week.

I would like to point out that even if the Amero is going to be a reality, there is no good reason to include the Mexicans in this. Note that Turkey wanted to be included in the Euro monetary plan, but it was excluded, and the decision included European objections to Turkey's economy, its crime, its human rights violations, and other negatives. Is there a more negative model for a country in the western hemisphere than that cesspool, Mexico? I still want our southern border SEALED, and all traffic between Mexico and the U.S. to be by air travel only.

Question: When Obama is arrested for fraud, treason, sedition, will this Amero-plan be one of his activities that will need to be "un-done", because it was spear-headed by an illegitimate president?


RichardBarbosa 6 years, 7 months ago

How long are we going to allow an illegitimate president, who has spent some $2.5Million on attorneys to conceal his documents, including all three college transcripts which likely label Obama correctly as a "foreign student" receiving "foreign student aid", to dictate our policies regarding 40Million illegal aliens inside our borders? America is a country of 300Million. Why should 40Million of those be illegal aliens who are motivated only to feed off us like a cancer?

How long are we going to put up with drug trafficking, drunk driving, child molestation, homicides, welfare theft by illegals who should not be inside our borders at all?

At a bare minimum cost of $26,000 annually per illegal alien, how much does it cost the United States taxpayer to support 40Million illegals aliens (then add in the cost of public defenders, prosecutors, and security, meals, hot water, shelter, clothing while illegals are in prison here).

My calculator cannot handle the large number when I multiply $26,000 by 40Million, so I did the multiplication long-hand. It costs the United States an annual bare minimum of $240,800,000,000 to have illegals inside our borders. That is nearly $250 Billion that could be used to supplement the pay of Americans in industries such as agriculture, so that Americans could do these jobs and actually earn a living wage. With Obama's alleged Harvard Law degree, it seems that he would be able to handle the math and understand its significance, doesn't it?

What on earth have we elected as leadership in our White House, and is there anyone who cares about the American people who are victimized by the crimes of cretins like this drug-dealing, killing perp from Mexico?


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