Thursday, June 22, 2006
Steamboat Springs Drug distribution charges were dismissed Wednesday against a Steamboat Springs man accused of selling cocaine near Soda Creek Elementary School last June.
But as part of a plea agreement reached with the District Attorney's Office, 42-year-old Jesus Alvarez Frias was given a one-year prison sentence for possessing less than 1 gram of cocaine. However, because he already has served 377 days in Routt County Jail, Alvarez Frias will not spend another night behind bars.
Deputy District Attorney Tammy Jenson said Thurs-
day that she agreed to the plea deal after meeting with law enforcement officers and Ron Smith, Alvarez Frias' attorney.
"This is what we were able to come up with that we felt would serve some justice and discourage him from re-entering the country and committing more crimes," she said.
Alvarez Frias was arrested June 10, 2005, after Greater Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team officers said Alvarez Frias and his roommate, Cosme Orlando Lopez, sold methamphetamine to an undercover informant.
Lopez, 23, was sentenced to 16 years in prison after a jury convicted him in May.
Alvarez Frias' trial ended in a hung jury, and because Jenson was unable to contact the undercover informant who was used to testify in the case, she said she had little options to continue with the prosecution.
Judge Michael O'Hara agreed to the plea agreement that was reached Wednesday and gave Alvarez Frias credit for 377 days already served.
Jenson said that although Alvarez Frias may not spend any additional time in prison, he will be processed through the Colorado Department of Corrections and most likely will be deported to Mexico because of an immigration hold.
Because Alvarez Frias will have a felony conviction on his record, he could face severe penalties if caught trying to re-enter the country illegally, Jenson said.
-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org