Colorado’s Top Federal Prosecutor Joins Law Enforcement Partners to Send Warning about Fentanyl Deaths
Colorado Springs – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado and law enforcement leaders gathered media together to bring attention to the alarming increase in fentanyl-related deaths in Colorado. Together with law enforcement leaders from the FBI, DEA, 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, El Paso County Coroner and Fountain Police Department, officials highlighted the dangers of fentanyl and what is being done to hold manufacturers and dealers accountable.
“In the four months I’ve been U.S. Attorney, it’s been astonishing to watch what is happening with fentanyl. It is a public health crisis and a public safety crisis. Fentanyl is dangerous, scary, and deadly,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan. “Our offices are taking aggressive measures to use every tool at our disposal to prosecute anyone who makes or distributes this deadly drug. Our intent is to prosecute dealers and hold them accountable. They are killing our children and fellow Coloradans.”
“Disrupting drug trafficking organizations is a top priority for FBI Denver. At the same time, we recognize that lethal drugs like fentanyl are already here. Collaborations with our partners mean we can also find ways to bring justice to these criminal organizations even after they have caused death in our communities,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider.
“We stand with the U.S. Attorney and our national and local law enforcement partners to aggressively identify and bring to justice those greed-driven enterprises responsible for proliferating this deadly fentanyl scourge expanding across our country” said DEA Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge Brian Besser. “DEA Denver is committed to interdicting the poison that is driving the overdoses in our communities; investigating the traffickers, and providing priority access to all of DEA’s global resources to better assist with this lethal drug threat.
“Those dealing Fentanyl in our community are not welcome here. We will hold you accountable for dealing Fentanyl in the El Paso and Teller County communities. If you kill somebody with this poison, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and you should expect to spend an extended amount of time in prison,” said District Attorney Michael Allen from the 4th Judicial District.
“The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is determined and committed to leveraging our regional, state, and federal enforcement and prosecutorial partnerships to stem the tide of what I believe can be preventable fentanyl overdoses and deaths in our community. My agency remains committed to serving the almost 800,000 citizens in El paso County by combatting this emergent law enforcement and public health challenge to make the Pikes Peak Region a safe place in which to live and work,” said Undersheriff Joe Roybal.
“Fentanyl is a lethal danger unlike any other, threatening the citizens of Colorado and indeed the Nation. CSPD is dedicated to working with our local and federal partners to disrupt the distribution of fentanyl in our community and to do everything we can to keep our citizens safe,” said Colorado Springs Interim Chief Adrian Vasquez.
“The mean age of fentanyl deaths is 12 years younger (35) than the average age of all other drug-related deaths (47). This shift to a younger population is due in part to the current pill form that is easily trafficked and ingested, its widespread contamination of other drugs of abuse, its high toxicity even in small amounts, and its pervasiveness in the community exposing even toddlers to fentanyl,” said Dr. Leon Kelly, El Paso County Coroner.
Under federal law, individuals convicted of distributing or conspiring to distribute fentanyl that causes death face a sentence of at least 20 years in prison and can receive up to a life sentence.
Examples of recent federal cases include:
- Douglas Floyd, Marlene McGuire, and Maria Davis-Conchie, of Colorado Springs, were charged with conspiring to distribute fentanyl and para-fluorofentanyl resulting in death, distribution of fentanyl and para-fluorofentanyl resulting in death, and distribution of fentanyl and para-fluorofentanyl to persons under age 21. Their case is pending in federal district court in Denver. Case number 22-cr-080-RMR.
- Alexis Nicole Wilkins, of Colorado Springs, was charged with allegedly distributing fentanyl resulting in death, and distributing fentanyl to persons under age 21. Her case is pending in federal district court in Denver. Case number 22-cr-101-CMA.
- Nathaniel David Corser, of Colorado Springs, was charged with distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, distribution of fentanyl within 1,000 feet of a high school, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. His case is pending in federal district court in Denver. Case number 22-cr-331-DDD.
- Bruce Holder of Grand Junction was found guilty of distributing counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, which resulted in the death of a young man in Carbondale Holder is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4, 2022. Case number 18-cr-381-CMA.
- Ernesto Ibarra Jr. of Fort Collins, was sentenced to 175 months in federal prison for distributing fentanyl resulting in death. Blue pills resembling prescription oxycodone contained fentanyl, killing one victim. Case number 19-cr-074-PAB.
- Lewis Robertson, of Boulder, was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for distributing fentanyl resulting in death. He distributed blue pills resembling prescription oxycodone, killing one victim. Case number 20-cr-251-RBJ.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, opioids are the leading of cause of overdose deaths in the United States, with fentanyl being the primary driver. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado remains committed to working with our partners at the local, state and federal levels to protect Coloradans from the flood of fentanyl and fentanyl-laced pills coming into our state.
For more information, please visit: https://www.dea.gov/onepill
Charges contained in indictments are allegations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.