By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Cheyenne man and his Honduran partner were sentenced to prison this week in connection with their convictions on heroin distribution charges.
Keith Richard Garcia, 35, was convicted and sentenced to almost six years in prison (70 months) for the heroin charges and to another five years for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
His accomplice, Roger Enrique Sandres Orellana, 32 of Honduras, was sentenced to three years in prison and was also convicted of illegally enterting the United States, for which he received a sentence of time served of approximately nine months.
“This case combines two of the top priorities of the Department of Justice: illegal drug trafficking and criminal immigration enforcement. We work with our local and federal law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and prosecute all suppliers that distribute illegal drugs in Wyoming,” said Acting United State Attorney Bob Murray. “At the same time, we work to identify, prosecute, and remove persons who violate our sovereign immigration laws. These offenders posed a significant danger to public safety in Laramie County, Wyoming with their distribution of heroin and I am pleased to see justice was served.”
According to a news release from Murray’s office, Drug Enforcement Administration officials suspected Garcia was distributing heroin that he had obtained from a Honduran source in Denver. Subsequent investigation led law enforcement officers to identify Sandres Orellana as the heroin distributor and drug runner.
Sandres Orellana initially gave officers a fake ID but when questioned later, admitted to lying about his identity, to being in the country illegally and to being a drug runner for an unknown male he met online.
Law enforcement recovered approximately 59 grams of heroin, items related to the distribution of controlled substances and a firearm.
“This investigation is a great example of law enforcement efforts in Wyoming to protect our communities from drug trafficking organizations which are polluting our neighborhoods with dangerous narcotics,” said DEA Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne Reuter. “The fact that this organization was also using firearms in furtherance of their crimes is a reminder to all of us just how dangerous these groups are. I am very proud of another great example of the hard work and dedication of our agents and law enforcement partners in Wyoming.”