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Press Release

Denver Man Convicted Of Large-Scale Cocaine Trafficking Sentenced To Lengthy Prison Term

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Michael Benitez-Lopez, aka “Mikey” aka “Money Mike”, age 27 of Denver, Colorado, was sentenced late last week by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer to serve 180 months (15 years) in federal prison for distributing large quantities of cocaine.  Following his prison sentence, Benitez-Lopez was ordered to spend 5 years on supervised release.  The defendant appeared at the hearing in custody, and was remanded at its conclusion. 

According to court documents and arguments made at trial, from March 2017 through April 1, 2018, Benitez-Lopez received multiple-kilograms of cocaine as part of a large scale drug trafficking organization that was responsible for importing more than 200 kilograms of cocaine during the course of the conspiracy.  The defendant sold multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine to lower level dealers throughout Metro Denver.

“This is a significant sentence that is justified by the scale of the drug trafficking operation and the quantity of cocaine being imported into Colorado,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.  “We hope other dealers will see this sentence and get the message that peddling drugs in Colorado has harsh federal penalties.” 

“This investigation targeted a significant cocaine trafficking organization in the Denver metropolitan area,” said DEA Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “This investigation is another prime example of the commitment of the DEA, working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners, to dismantle and remove drug trafficking organizations in order to protect our communities.”  

The trial lasted three days before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer.  The jury deliberated for two hours before reaching their guilty verdicts on August 9, 2019. 

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie Podolak and Zachary Phillips. 


Jeff Dorschner
Spokesman, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado
303-454-0243 direct; 303-454-0400 fax

Updated November 5, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CASE NUMBER: 18-cr-00328