Man busted for cocaine in Vail Valley is a three-time deportee
Jose Contreras caught with $60,000 worth of alleged cocaine, forged documents
EAGLE — A Mexican man had already been thrown out of the country three times and was likely in the U.S illegally when he was arrested Friday in Edwards with more than two kilograms of cocaine.
Jose Luis Contreras Jr., 40, was arrested with $60,000 worth of cocaine, according to statements Monday afternoon during Contreras’ first court appearance. Officers also seized cash and the Dodge Ram pickup truck Contreras was driving.
Deportee times three
Besides being deported three times, Contreras was also on probation for a 2002 drug felony, for which he had pleaded guilty, Chief Deputy District Attorney Joe Kirwan said.
When Contreras pleaded guilty and was sentenced in that 2002 drug case, he was supposed to report to probation. He didn’t. He absconded, Kirwan said.
According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, Contreras was thrown out of the country in February 2003.
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In July 2004 he was back in the U.S. and was convicted in federal court of being in the country illegally. He was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison and deported again.
He re-entered the U.S. illegally in May 2005, Kirwan said.
When officers searched his Eagle River Village mobile home Friday, they found several 1-gram packages, and a 1-kilogram brick of a substance suspected of being cocaine, Kirwan said, as well as another gram of suspected cocaine in a GMC Canyon pickup truck.
Contreras gave officers a false name, and during the search they found a forged Mexican passport with a false name, Kirwan said.
Officers also found a Social Security card associated with Contreras. However, so far they’re not sure if that Social Security number is associated with anyone else, Kirwan said.
They do know that no reported income was associated with that Social Security number. Despite that, Contreras owns the Dodge Ram pickup he was driving, Kirwan said.
His public defender Stacey Shobe said Contreras is working full-time with a local construction company.
There may be other forfeitures as the case progresses, Kirwan said.
“He is not the country legally and is a risk to flee,” Kirwan said in asking for a bond of $50,000. Shobe asked for a $25,000 bond.
Judge Rachel Fresquez set the bond at $102,000.
If convicted, Contreras faces between eight and 32 years in prison and another six years for the previous drug felony to which he pleaded guilty.
Along with Gore Range Narcotics Interdiction Team, officers from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, Vail Police Department investigators and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration participated in the search and arrest.