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Press Release

La Junta Man Sentenced To Serve 19 Years In Federal Prison For Dealing Methamphetamine, Heroin, Cocaine, And Marijuana While Possessing A Firearm During A Drug Trafficking Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado
Long-time drug dealer sold drugs from his house when his children were present

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced today that Robert Chad Nolan, age 42, of La Junta, Colorado, was sentenced to serve 228 months (19 years) in federal prison for possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana as well as possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.  Nolan was also ordered to serve 5 years on supervised release after his prison sentence.  Nolan appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded at its conclusion.  The Denver Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) joined in today’s announcement. 

Nolan was first indicted by a federal grand jury on June 21, 2018.  He was found guilty of the charges following a three-day jury trial on January 24, 2019. 

According to court documents, including the government’s sentencing statement, in early February 2018, Nolan possessed with intent to distribute over 64 grams of methamphetamine, over 10 grams of heroin, over 24 grams of cocaine, and over 800 grams of marijuana.  Further, he possessed a .380 caliber pistol while he was trafficking the illegal drugs.

The defendant was a known drug dealer in La Junta for at least 17 years, contributing substantially to this small town’s drug problems.  When he was caught by law enforcement, Nolan had between 5,250 and 11,700 personal use doses of narcotics.  Nolan was previously twice convicted for drug trafficking.  He served 6 years in state prison for the first drug trafficking offense, and he served 8 years in state prison for the second drug trafficking offense. 

Notably, Nolan dealt his drugs out of his house, where his kids lived.  Some of the drugs were kept on the bathroom counter for all to see.  Law enforcement also found $36,000 in cash hidden in grocery bags under the bath tub.

“Taking a drug dealer of this level off the streets in a small town like La Junta is significant,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.  “This guy was particularly egregious.  Not only was he causing significant harm to the community, but he was doing it with a weapon and doing it in front of his own children.  It is good to get him out of the community and out of his home.”

“Those that endanger the safety and security of our communities will be met by every resource possessed by law enforcement.  ATF is proud to have worked with our partners at the La Junta Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration on this successful investigation.”

The sentence was handed down by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer.  This case was investigated by the Denver Field Division of the ATF, with support from the Denver Division of the DEA, the La Junta Police Department and the Otero County Sheriff.  The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt Bohn.


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

Updated January 13, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: CASE NUMBER: 18-cr-00297