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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 2, 2019

Mexican National Living In Centennial Sentenced To Federal Prison For Possession With Intent To Distribute Fentanyl

Defendant caught with nearly 12,000 pills (1,400 grams) of fentanyl as well as heroin and cocaine

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Osvaldo Lugo-Escalante, age 25, of Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel D. Domenico to serve 72 months (6 years) in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute nearly 1,400 grams of fentanyl.  He was also ordered to forfeit over $40,000 in cash.  Lugo-Escalante appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded at its conclusion.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, in the Spring of 2019 investigators with the Denver Police Department (DPD) Vice/Narcotics division and special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) determined  Lugo-Escalante was actively involved in drug distribution activities in the Denver metro area.  On June 26, 2019, a confidential informant contacted the defendant to purchase narcotics.  After the call the defendant left his apartment located in Centennial, Colorado, and got into his car.  DPD uniform officers then initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle as it pulled away from the apartment.  During the subsequent search of the vehicle officers found a Metro PCS box in the driver’s side door compartment, which contained; 1) a clear plastic bag containing 2,048 pills of fentanyl (222.655 grams); 2) a clear plastic bag containing 27.709 grams of cocaine; and 3) a clear plastic bag containing 62.405 grams of heroin. 

Later that day officers and agents searched Lugo-Escalante’s apartment.  Inside they discovered additional controlled substances, including; 1) several clear plastic bags containing 3,418 pills of fentanyl (391.947 grams); 2) several clear plastic bags containing 6,806 pills of fentanyl (745.091 grams); 3) 501.6 grams of heroin packaged in clear plastic wrap; 4) 250.798 grams of heroin packaged in clear plastic wrap; 5) 506.966 grams of heroin packaged in clear plastic wrap; and 6) several clear plastic bags containing 753.620 grams of cocaine.  Investigators also found drug ledgers, a scale, and several bundles of U.S. currency totaling $41,532.00. 

In total, investigators seized 12,272 pills of fentanyl (1,359.693 grams), 1,321.769 grams of heroin, and 781.329 grams of cocaine from the defendant’s vehicle and apartment. 

Lugo-Escalante was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on July 11, 2019.  He pled guilty before Judge Domenico on September 3, 2019.  He was sentenced today, December 2, 2019.

“Fentanyl is a dangerous drug and can be fatal even in tiny amounts,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.  “Denver Police and HSI were able to remove a substantial amount of fentanyl and other drugs from the streets of Metro Denver, likely saving countless lives.”

“We continue to fight against the devastating impact that opioids have on our communities,” said Steven Cagen, Special Agent in Charge, HSI Denver. “HSI and our local partners, with support from the U.S. Attorney’s office, remain committed to the fight against dealers of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs that have taken too many lives across Colorado.”

This case was investigated by the Denver Police Department and the HSI Denver.  The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor A. Flanigan.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jeff Dorschner Spokesman, Public Affairs Officer U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado 303-454-0243 direct; 303-454-0400 fax
Press Release Number: 
CASE NUMBER: 19-cr-00323
Updated December 2, 2019