Cocaine, Methamphetamine Trafficker Sentenced to 262 Months in Federal Prison
SALT LAKE CITY -- Guillermo Lopez-Casillas, age 37, of Compton, Calif., will serve 262 months in federal prison for possession of methamphetamine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. U.S. District Judge Jill N. Parrish imposed the sentence Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court.
A jury deliberated for just a few hours before finding Lopez-Casillas guilty on both counts following a two-day trial in June.
“Drug trafficking organizations regularly travel along Utah roadways to deliver their poison to Utah neighborhoods and points beyond,” observed Utah U.S. Attorney John W. Huber. “The Utah Highway Patrol is one of the top law enforcement agencies in the nation in detecting and interdicting large shipments of narcotics. As partners, we will continue to doggedly pursue those who exploit addictions for profit,” Huber said.
In addition to the UHP, DEA and the Utah State Bureau of Investigations contributed to the investigation of the case.
In August 2015, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper stopped Lopez-Casillas on 1-70 in southern Utah for a traffic violation. The defendant told the trooper he did not have a driver’s license because it had been suspended for a DUI. After speaking with Lopez-Casillas and his juvenile passenger and observing their conduct, the trooper became suspicious that they were involved in criminal activity. Lopez-Casillas gave the trooper permission to search the car. The trooper found 1,009.5 grams of cocaine and 646.7 grams of methamphetamine. Both individuals were arrested.
The sentencing guideline range for the drug convictions was 262 to 327 months. Federal prosecutors argued for a 300-month sentence. In a sentencing memorandum filed with the court, prosecutors said the defendant was trafficking significant quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine. Prosecutors were also concerned that the defendant involved a juvenile in his drug trafficking activities.
Lopez-Casillas has a prominent gang affiliation and a lengthy history of criminal activity, including prior narcotics trafficking offenses, violent crimes, and possession and use firearms.
Judge Parrish ordered Lopez-Casillas to serve five years of supervised release when he completes his federal prison sentence. Among other standard conditions of supervised release, the judge ordered special conditions including prohibiting contact with any member or associate of a street gang or prison gang and prohibited Lopez-Casillas from possessing material which gives evidence of gang involvement or activity. He also cannot receive new tattoos associated with gangs or wear clothing identified with gangs.
The juvenile in the car with Lopez-Casillas was not prosecuted in federal court.