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Press Release

Five Western Slope Defendants Sentenced For Various Roles In Methamphetamine and Cocaine Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado
Drugs came to Colorado from California

DENVER – Five defendants have been ordered in the past 48 hours to serve prison sentences for their respective roles in the distribution of methamphetamine and cocaine, U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer and DEA Denver Division Special Agent in Charge William T. McDermott announced.  Four remaining defendants have sentencing hearings pending. 

Colorado Chief U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger, sitting in Grand Junction on September 10 and September 11th, 2018, sentenced:

  • Sean Herrera, age 46, to serve 96 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years on supervised release;
  • Sergio Gonzalez-Lomeli, age 23, to serve 60 months in federal prison, followed by 4 years on supervised release;
  • Brandon Latgiue, age 40, to serve 9 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years on supervised release;
  • Ricardo Morales, age 36, to serve 78 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years on supervised release;
  • Karinda Sills, age 52, to serve 120 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years on supervised release;


According to court documents, in April 2016, the Glenwood Springs branch of DEA began investigating drug trafficking occurring in Garfield and Mesa Counties. This investigation involved surveillance of targets, controlled purchases of methamphetamine, and wiretaps of telephones and Facebook accounts. The investigation ultimately revealed that Paul Hernandez Contreras was a California source of supply for methamphetamine and cocaine who would bring large quantities of narcotics from California to Colorado. Daniel Tapia-Morales was a distributor for Hernandez Contreras and Tapia-Morales had his own customer base. In addition to drug trafficking, many individuals in the investigation would trade firearms for narcotics. Ultimately, over 3 kilograms of methamphetamine and ½ kilogram of cocaine were seized, as well as firearms and thousands of dollars. The investigation resulted in the indictment of ten individuals, to include the five mentioned above and Tapia-Morales.

Special Agent In Charge Tim McDermott stated, “This case demonstrates the importance of DEA’s relationship with State and Local Task Forces, such as the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT), in order to dismantle and disrupt drug trafficking organizations responsible for poisoning our communities through the sale of methamphetamine, cocaine and firearms.”

This case was investigated by the DEA Denver Division and TRIDENT, including agents in Mesa and Garfield Counties. TRIDENT is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force funded through Federal, State and Local government funding sources.   The defendants were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Celeste Rangel and Jeremy Chaffin.


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

Updated September 11, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: CASE NUMBER: 17-cr-00154