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Justice News

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Pueblo Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Heroin Distribution

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Mario Mercado, age 39, of Pueblo, Colorado, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez to serve 33 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute heroin.  Following the prison sentence, Judge Martinez ordered Mercado to serve 4 years on supervised release.  The defendant appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded to the U.S. Marshals custody at its conclusion.

According to the stipulated facts contained in Mercado’s plea agreement, on October 28, 2017, the defendant sold 5 ounces of heroin for $5,500 to a confidential human source (CHS) acting at the direction of the FBI.  The sale took place at a residence in Pueblo.  Further investigation revealed that  Mercado received 15 ounces of heroin with intent to distribute it.  Of the 15 ounces, he sold 5 ounces to the CHS, used some, and threw some out a window so police would not find it.

“Heroin continues to be a significant problem in Pueblo and Southern Colorado more generally,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.  “Dealers should know that federal law enforcement is coming for them with renewed vigor.”

"Heroin distribution harms our communities and will not be tolerated,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips. “The FBI is committed to work with our partners to identify and disrupt those that enable the heroin epidemic which continues to spread throughout the state.”

Mercado was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on July 11, 2018.  He pled guilty on February 12, 2019.  He was sentenced today, October 23, 2019. 

This case was investigated by the FBI.  The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin DeRosa.

Drug Trafficking
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: 18-cr-00320
Updated October 23, 2019