Dostero dealer pleads guilty, authorities say
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE ” An illegal immigrant who was arrested for selling cocaine to undercover police in July has pleaded guilty, authorities said.
Josue Roberto Delgado, of Dotsero, pleaded guilty to felony distribution of cocaine Monday, the first day of his scheduled jury trial, the Eagle County District Attorney’s Office said.
Delgado was investigated for five years by the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team, a regional task force.
“We’re very happy that he’s pleading guilty to the largest charge,” Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said.
Delgado did sell cocaine, but he was a “small-time dealer,” said Ted Hess, Delgado’s defense attorney.
“We’re not talking about ounces or kilos or half-kilos,” Hess said.
Delgado talked to a potential employer about getting out of the “ugly world” of cocaine the night before the drug deal, Hess said.
A snitch had called Delgado multiple times asking to buy the cocaine and Delgado would have argued during trial that the snitch entrapped him into selling cocaine in July, Hess said.
Delgado decided to plead guilty when he learned the night before the trial that the snitch would be testifying against him, Hess said.
“He was scared,” Hess said.
In January, Delgado was arrested on suspicion of felony cocaine possession and was jailed, but paid his bond with help from family members and was released, investigators have said.
“I consider myself an upstanding citizen who has lived in the Vail Valley for 10 long years,” Delgado wrote in a letter to the Vail Daily. “I came to Eagle County to start a new life for me and my family.”
In February, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported Delgado to Mexico, investigators have said. Investigators did not know how Delgado reentered the United States.
Delgado faces four to 16 years in prison, but his plea agreement caps his prison sentence at six years, authorities said. If a judge sentences him to 16 years, Delgado may opt out of the guilty plea, Hess said.
Also arrested in the July drug deal were Carlos Elias Dominguez, of Dotsero, and William A. Seivert, of Northglenn. Dominguez, also known as Jorge Carlos Rodriguez, pleaded guilty to felony possession of cocaine in October, Hurlbert said.
Dominguez and Delgado are scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, authorities said, but Hurlbert did not comment on Seivert’s case Tuesday.
Carl Rusnok, spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, wrote in an e-mail that he was not familiar with Delgado’s case.
But typically, illegal immigrants serve prison sentences first and then are turned over to Immigrations and Customs for deportation, Rusnok wrote.
Illegal immigrants who reenter the United States after having been formally deported commit a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, he wrote.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.