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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Colorado Springs Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking and Firearms Possession

Denver - The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces Matthew James Vernon, age 41, of Colorado Springs, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

According to the plea agreement, on June 17, 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence in Colorado Springs. Investigators recovered more than 600 grams of heroin, a digital scale and a cash counter, and three firearms. In an interview with investigators, the defendant acknowleged he could not legally possess a firearm. The defendant possessed the heroin with the intent to distribute it, and he possessed some or all of the firearms in furtherance of his possession of the heroin.

Judge William J. Martinez sentenced the defendant on August 12, 2022. He also sentenced Vernon to 4 years supervised release.

The FBI Denver Division investigated this case. This case was prosecuted by the Violent Crime and Immigration Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Case number: 21-cr-0213

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Deborah Takahara Public Affairs Specialist deborah.takahara@usdoj.gov
Updated August 16, 2022