U.S. Federal District Court Judge for Wyoming Nancy Freudenthal recently sentenced 39-year-old Armando Cervantes of Salt Lake City for the crimes of Conspiracy to Possess With the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, and Possession With the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Aiding and Abetting.
Judge Freudenthal sentenced Cervantes to 15 ½ years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised probation. The case was investigated by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Cervantes was part of a large methamphetamine trafficking operation distributing drugs throughout Wyoming in 2010. Cervantes lived in Utah and acquired multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine from Mexican sources, which he pumped into Wyoming on a weekly basis.
Cervantes was arrested July 29, 2010 and pleaded not guilty to the allegations in the Indictment and was released on bond. Trial in the matter commenced on January 4, 2011. On the second day of trial, the Defendant fled and did not appear in court for trial. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest. The matter was continued to a later date in hopes of locating Cervantes. Cervantes remained at large and trial, in absentia, resumed on January 31, 2011.
Cervantes’ defense counsel continued to represent him despite Cervantes’ deliberate nonattendance. On February 4, 2011, the jury returned a guilty verdict on both counts charged in the Indictment. Cervantes remained at large until the United States Marshals in Utah arrested him on February 5 of this year.