DENVER – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces Kenneth Lawrence Baca, age 44, of Pueblo, was sentenced to 190 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and felon in possession of a firearm.
According to the plea agreement, on October 12, 2021, Pueblo police detectives were investigating Baca after receiving an anonymous tip that the defendant was selling a large amount of narcotics. A detective messaged Baca, in an undercover capacity, via Facebook messenger. Baca agreed to sell heroin and methamphetamines. On October 13, 2021, the conversation continued and they agreed to meet at Baca’s hotel room in Pueblo. Officers set-up surveillance in the parking lot of the motel and observed Baca pull into the parking lot in a truck with no front license plate and an expired registration. Officers also knew that Baca didn’t have a valid driver’s license. Officers conducted a traffic stop. Given his history, an officer informed Baca that he would be patted down for weapons. Baca replied that he had a pistol in his right pants pocket. Baca was immediately placed into custody and the firearm was retrieved from his pants. A search of the truck found a backpack containing methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, a digital scale, $1,746 in U.S. currency, a notebook that appeared to be a drug ledger, and a wallet containing Baca’s identification cards. In the motel room registered to Baca, officers recovered fentanyl, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a suspected drug ledger, and $1,018 in U.S. currency. At the time Baca possessed the firearm and ammunition, he was on supervised release after serving time in prison for a previous felon in possession conviction.
Judge Regina M. Rodriguez sentenced the defendant on February 1, 2023.
“This defendant repeatedly committed crimes with no regard for the law. The fact that the defendant was on supervised release when he committed these crimes exemplifies this solemn reality. This sentence achieves the goals of deterring such criminal conduct, while simultaneously protecting our community from drugs and weapons,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan.
“This sentencing highlights the collaboration and teamwork between the FBI and our law enforcement partners like the Pueblo Police Department, whose efforts were instrumental in this case,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek. “FBI Denver remains committed to working closely with the Pueblo Police Department to ensure that dangerous criminals are no longer menacing the public. The FBI prioritizes keeping our communities safe by finding, investigating, and dismantling criminal operations one person at a time, as we did with this repeat offender peddling illegal drugs.”
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Denver Division and the Pueblo Police Department. Prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Warhola and the Transnational Organized Crime and Money Laundering Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
CASE NUMBER: 21-cr-00387
originally published at HUMAN RIGHTS - USA DAILY NEWS 24