On August 16, 2023, Krista Vela, a woman from Deschutes County, Oregon, was sentenced to federal prison for trafficking significant amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl into the state for distribution. The 39-year-old was handed an 84-month prison sentence, along with five years of supervised release. This sentencing designates a significant accomplishment in the relentless battle against methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking. Sergeant Kent van der Kamp of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office stated that this outcome is a testament to the unwavering dedication of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE) and their collaboration with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. It sends a powerful message that those involved in illegal drug trade will face the full force of justice.
Central Oregon Drug Trafficker Sentenced to Federal Prison
Summary of the case
A Deschutes County, Oregon woman, Krista Vela, has been sentenced to federal prison for trafficking large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl to Oregon for distribution. Vela received a sentence of 84 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release. Law enforcement agencies have hailed this as a significant victory in the ongoing fight against drug trafficking in central Oregon.
Law enforcement’s statement
Sergeant Kent van der Kamp of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the case, stating that it dealt a decisive blow to the criminal networks involved in drug trafficking in the central Oregon community. The successful arrest and conviction of Vela are seen as a testament to the tireless efforts of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE) and the partnership between the local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Background of the investigation
As part of a broader drug trafficking investigation, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and CODE identified Krista Vela as a key source of supply for a prominent drug dealer in the area. In December 2020, investigators seized several pieces of luggage being removed from a hotel room rented by Vela. The bags contained drug packaging materials, a digital scale, a GPS tracking device, 15 kilograms of methamphetamine, and 2 kilograms of fentanyl. Vela was charged with conspiracy to possess and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl.
Details of the sentencing
Krista Vela has been sentenced to 84 months in federal prison for her involvement in drug trafficking. In addition to the prison sentence, she will also serve five years of supervised release.
Length of prison sentence
Vela’s prison sentence is 84 months, which reflects the seriousness of the drug trafficking offenses she committed.
After serving her prison sentence, Krista Vela will be placed on supervised release for a period of five years. During this time, she will be subject to certain conditions, including regular check-ins with a probation officer and restrictions on her activities.
Impact on drug trafficking networks
The arrest and conviction of Krista Vela have dealt a significant blow to drug trafficking networks operating in central Oregon. Law enforcement agencies believe that this outcome will disrupt the flow of illegal drugs into the community and help ensure the safety of the residents.
Statement from law enforcement
Law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation, including the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE), have expressed their commitment to combating drug trafficking activities. They have reiterated their determination to ensure the safety of central Oregon and have sent a strong message that those involved in illegal drug activities will face the full force of justice.
Overview of the drug trafficking investigation
The investigation into drug trafficking in central Oregon started with a broader effort to disrupt the supply chain of illegal drugs in the area. As part of this investigation, law enforcement agencies identified Krista Vela as a key source of supply. The seizure of evidence, including a large quantity of methamphetamine and fentanyl, led to her arrest and subsequent prosecution.
Identification of the trafficker
Through their investigation, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and CODE identified Krista Vela as a significant player in the drug trafficking network operating in central Oregon. They gathered evidence that linked her to the distribution of large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl.
Seizure of evidence and arrest
In December 2020, investigators seized several pieces of luggage being removed from a hotel room rented by Krista Vela. The bags contained drug packaging materials, a digital scale, a GPS tracking device, 15 kilograms of methamphetamine, and 2 kilograms of fentanyl. Vela was subsequently arrested and charged with drug trafficking offenses.
Criminal charges and indictment
Krista Vela was initially charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl. A federal grand jury later returned a two-count indictment against Vela and an accomplice, charging them with conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl.
On July 5, 2023, Krista Vela pleaded guilty to both charges. Her guilty plea indicates her acknowledgement of the charges against her and her agreement to the terms of the plea deal.
Krista Vela’s sentence will run concurrently with an 84-month federal prison sentence imposed on March 16, 2023, in the District of Montana for a separate drug trafficking conviction. This means that she will serve both sentences at the same time.
Partners involved in the investigation
The investigation into drug trafficking networks in central Oregon was a collaborative effort involving multiple law enforcement agencies. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, and CODE played crucial roles in gathering evidence, conducting surveillance, and apprehending the individuals involved in drug trafficking.
Support from Homeland Security Investigations
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) provided critical support to the investigation. Their expertise in investigating cross-border drug trafficking activities and their resources were instrumental in ensuring the success of the operation.
Multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force
The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE) is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force that played a significant role in the investigation. Comprised of various law enforcement agencies, including local police departments, sheriff’s offices, and federal agencies, CODE aims to disrupt drug trafficking activities and protect the community.
Adam E. Delph, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, handled the prosecution of Krista Vela’s case. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Delph specializes in prosecuting federal criminal cases and ensuring that justice is served.
Assistant U.S. Attorney handling the case
Adam E. Delph, an experienced prosecutor, was responsible for handling Krista Vela’s case. His expertise in federal criminal law and his commitment to pursuing justice are vital in securing a conviction against drug traffickers.
Role of the CODE team
The CODE team is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force composed of various law enforcement agencies. Their role in this investigation was instrumental in identifying, apprehending, and building the case against Krista Vela. The collaborative effort between CODE and other agencies involved ensured the success of the operation.
Related cases and content
Other drug trafficking convictions in central Oregon have contributed to the ongoing efforts to combat drug-related crimes. These convictions send a clear message that drug trafficking activities will not be tolerated and that those involved will be held accountable for their actions.
Other drug trafficking convictions
In recent years, there have been several high-profile drug trafficking convictions in central Oregon. These convictions serve as a deterrent to potential drug traffickers and contribute to the overall effort to disrupt drug networks operating in the area.
Impact of drugs on communities
Drug trafficking has a significant impact on communities, leading to increased drug abuse, violence, and social instability. The successful arrest and conviction of drug traffickers like Krista Vela contribute to creating safer communities and protecting vulnerable populations from the harmful effects of drugs.
Contact information for U.S. Attorney’s Office
For more information or inquiries related to drug trafficking cases and other criminal matters, you can contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon. The office is located at 1000 SW Third Ave Suite 600, Portland, Oregon 97204.
Location and contact details
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon can be reached at (503) 727-1000. For specific inquiries or requests for information, it is best to contact the office directly. The office can provide guidance and resources related to drug trafficking cases and other criminal matters.
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