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Last defendant in operation spitter is sentenced to 8 years in federal prison for distribution of heroin and cocaine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2013

 

DENVER – Elder Geovany Sabillon-Umana, age 43, of Denver, Colorado was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel to serve 96 months (8 years) in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine, and money laundering, federal and state authorities announced.  Following his prison sentencing, Umana was ordered to spend 5 years on supervised release. Umana pled guilty to the above charges on October 23, 2012.   Other key co-conspirators of “Operation Spitter” were sentenced by Judge Daniel and received the following sentences:

  • Jose Lopez-Luna pled guilty to drug charges & money laundering and was sentenced to 192 months, followed by 5 years supervised release.
  • Yoni Dimar Mas-Cruz pled guilty to drug charges and was sentenced to 72 months, followed by 5 years supervised release.
  • Nandi Evelio Arrazola pled guilty to drug charges and was sentenced to 70 months, followed by 5 years supervised release.
  • Elvin Eduardo Cruz-Cruz pled guilty to drug charges and was sentenced to 48 months, followed by 5 years supervised release.
  • Corina Terrones was indicted on drug charges and money laundering and is currently a fugitive.

According to the statement of facts contained in Umana’s plea agreement, investigators from the Front Range Task Force (FRTF) which included DEA and IRS CI agents conducted an investigation into the Jose Lopez- Luna, aka Gordo, drug distribution organization (DTO) since approximately June 2011.  The Gordo DTO is responsible for the distribution of multi-pound quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Denver metropolitan area. The investigation led investigators to Umana, an active narcotics customer and narcotics sub-distributor for the Gordo DTO.

From July 2011 through April 2012, the investigation disclosed Umana distributed narcotics and assisted the Gordo DTO by arranging or providing the means of transportation of drugs, advising Jose Lopez-Luna in the narcotics business, preparing documents for DTO automobile registration and insurance, assisting with acquisition of mobile phones, smart phones and services, assisting with Jose Lopez-Luna's housing, offering to obtain a firearm for Jose Lopez-Luna, and sometimes sourcing the Gordo DTO with cocaine drug supplies obtained from another DTO.

In late spring of 2011 the FRTF investigators began their investigation by making controlled purchases of heroin from lower level traffickers including Yoni Dimar Mas-Cruz.  Investigators conducting surveillance determined that the person eventually identified as Jose Lopez-Luna was the source of the drug supply.   The street level distributors are sometimes called “Spitters” because they keep balloons of heroin in their cheeks and spit them out into their hands when, for example, a customer comes to buy a $20 rock of heroin, giving the OCDETF case name “Operation Spitter.”

Searches conducted in April of 2012 resulted in the recovery of vehicles, more than 20 ounces of heroin, a quantity of cocaine, and approximately one pound of methamphetamine, cell phones, drug proceeds in the form of cash, and one firearm.  Over the course of the investigation 2,101 grams of heroin, 2,383 grams of cocaine and 445 grams of methamphetamine were seized by law enforcement officers. 

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), IRS – Criminal Investigation Division, and the Front Range Task Force which includes members of the DPD and the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Guy Till of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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