DENVER — A Denver man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for distributing large quantities of cocaine throughout the metro area, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a news release.
Michael Benitez-Lopez, aka “Mikey” and “Money Mike” was found guilty in August of one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, one count of cocaine distribution and one count of use of a telephone in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Chief U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer handed down the 15-year sentence last week.
Court documents and evidence presented at trial show that from March 2017 through April 1, 2018, Benitez-Lopez received multiple kilograms of cocaine as part of a large-scale drug trafficking organization that was responsible for the importation of more than 200 kilograms of cocaine during the course of the conspiracy, the DOJ said. He then sold multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine to lower-level dealers throughout the Denver metro area.
“This is a significant sentence that is justified by the scale of the drug trafficking operation and the quantity of cocaine being imported into Colorado,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “We hope other dealers will see this sentence and get the message that peddling drugs in Colorado has harsh federal penalties.”
The trial for Benitez-Lopez lasted three days. The jury deliberated for two hours before reaching a guilty verdict
Following his release from prison, Benitez-Lopez will spend five years on supervised release.
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