GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — The man accused in the largest drug bust in Mesa County history was back in court this morning. Ramon Cesena-Valdez was arrested during a traffic stop in May for having more than 100,000 fentanyl pills and 75 pounds of methamphetamine.
When proceedings started on Wednesday Mesa County Judge, Jeremy Chaffin immediately announced that instead of the scheduled motion hearing, Cesena-Valdez would enter a plea. Cesena-Valdez pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of fentanyl, a class 1 drug felony. In all enough fentanyl to potentially kill more than 150-thousand people.
Dan Rubinstein, Mesa County’s District Attorney, tells WesternSlopeNow after searching Cesena-Valdez’s car and two other Grand Valley homes, Mesa County officials contacted Denver’s West Metro Drug Task Force for help searching the stash house Cesena-Valdez came from.
Rubinstein tells me this bust was critical in reducing both fentanyl use and fentanyl overdose deaths in Mesa County.
Cesena-Valdez faces eight to 26 years in prison and because he is not an American citizen, he will not be released on parole. They will immediately deport him once he’s completed his sentence.
Rubinstein tells WesternSlopeNow since that bust he’s increased Mesa County’s resources for drug prosecution and is without a doubt, trying to send a message to future drug offenders with the Cesena-Valdez case.
Rubinstein commended the Drug Task Force, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, GJPD and Colorado State Patrol for their efforts on the bust. He says their partnership helped take down a dangerous drug organization before those drugs hurt or killed tens of thousands of Coloradans.
Cesena-Valdez will learn his fate during sentencing in December.