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Justice News

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Denver Meth Dealer Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Conspiracy and Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges

Defendant is part of large-scale Drug Trafficking Organization case led by Debbi Martinez

DENVER – Carol Hawley of Denver, Colorado, was sentenced on Monday, December 21st, 2015 by U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore to serve 240 months (20 years) in federal prison, followed by 10 years on supervised release for Conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual meth and Possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual meth, U.S. Attorney John Walsh, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Barbra Roach announced.  The case was investigated by the Metro Gang Task Force (MGTF).  Hawley, who appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, was remanded at its conclusion. 

Hawley, along with six others, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on May 19, 2014.  The grand jury returned a superseding indictment on September 23, 2014.  She was convicted of the counts outlined above on October 9, 2015 following a 5-day jury trial.

According to the facts presented to the jury during trial, and as outlined in the Government’s Sentencing Statement, in March 2013, agents and officers of the MGTF were conducting a long-term drug trafficking investigation, focusing on an organization run by Debbi Martinez, a/k/a “Payasa.”  The investigation revealed that Martinez purchased distribution-sized quantities of methamphetamine for re-sale to various individuals within the Denver metropolitan area.  One of her sources of supply included a large-scale drug trafficker whose Mexican-based drug trafficking organization.

During the investigation, it was determined that after a series of phone calls between Martinez called Hawley, Defendant Hawley obtained money and purchased methamphetamine to be sold in Fort Collins.  While Hawley was on her way to Fort Collins with the methamphetamine, MGTF officers requested assistance from the Denver Police Department (DPD) in performing a traffic stop of Hawley.  Early morning of March 13, 2013, Denver officers observed a traffic violation, and thus pulled Hawley’s vehicle over.  The only identification Hawley had was able to produce to law enforcement was her Colorado Department of Correction identification card.  DPD called for a drug K-9, and the Aurora Police Department responded with the K-9.  After the dog alerted to the vehicle, investigators searched the vehicle.

During the search officers recovered a zippered purse which contained 223 grams of 100 percent pure methamphetamine.  Officers also recovered an additional 3.17 grams of methamphetamine, 18.3 grams of MSM (a common cutting agent for methamphetamine), an empty bottle of prescription pills, a sheet of apparent pseudoephedrine, a marijuana pipe, and drug paraphernalia.  Hawley was subsequently arrested.  The passenger, who was the registered owner of the vehicle Hawley was driving, was released.

"Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, harmful drug, and destroys users, their families and harms the community in which they live," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.  "This severe sentence, handed down to a repeat drug trafficking offender, reflects our efforts to keep the community safe from this scourge."

 “Trafficking in methamphetamines  is a very serious crime which erodes the basic fabric of our society,” said FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. "We are fortunate to be able to investigate and prosecute these individuals in partnership with the US Attorney’s Office and the DEA's Strike Force.”

This case was investigated by the Aurora Police Department, and the Metro Gang Task Force with the FBI.  The DEA participated in some parts of the larger drug trafficking investigations. 

The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bradley Giles and Barbara Skalla.

Drug Trafficking
Updated December 23, 2015