AURORA | An Aurora man who admitted to coordinating the shipment of pounds of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl from Mexico to Colorado has been sentenced to more than a decade in federal prison, authorities announced Wednesday.
A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Eber Perez-Ramirez, 29, to slightly more than 10 years in prison last week, according to the local U.S. Attorney’s office. Perez-Ramirez had previously pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
Prosecutors said Perez-Ramirez was a so-called lieutenant for a widespread organization that ferried multi-pound packages of narcotics from Mexico to the Mountain West.
Officials with the local division of the FBI closely tracked Perez-Ramirez as he delivered methamphetamine to various locations in fall 2019. He delivered meth to an undercover FBI informant three times during that span, investigators said.
Around that same time, authorities said Perez-Ramirez monitored police activity throughout Utah while a car tied to his organization transported 53 pounds of meth across the state. Colorado state troopers eventually intercepted the vehicle.
Federal officials seized additional meth that Perez-Ramirez was attempting to transport from Denver in January of last year.
“Not only is Perez-Ramirez going to prison for his crimes but the government seized a significant amount of narcotics and kept them off the streets of Colorado,” Andy Tsui with the criminal investigations branch of the Internal Revenue Service said in a statement.
Acting U.S. Attorney for Colorado Matt Kirsch praised the sentence handed down April 23.
“We are working to disrupt these organizations by making drug traffickers face significant jail time,” he said in a statement.
Colorado saw a record number of overdose deaths in 2020 with a total of 1,457 such fatalities in 2020, according to provisional data provided by the state health department. That’s some 30% higher than any annual total in the past 20 years.
The state saw sharp spikes in overdoses related to fentanyl and meth in particular, with a 140% increase in deaths proven to be linked to the former and a 50% rise in deaths involving the latter between 2019 and 2020.