Adams County man convicted of dealing fentanyl for cartel sentenced to 16 years in prison

Posted at 2:55 PM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 16:58:54-04

BRIGHTON, Colo. — An Adams County man with ties to a Mexican drug cartel was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

An Adams County District Judge sentenced Diego Salazar, 29, to 16 years in the Department of Corrections. He entered a guilty plea last month following his 2023 arrest as part of Operation Dress for Less, a law enforcement operation that led to the indictment of eight other people.

Salazar and the eight other suspects were allegedly involved with a large-scale drug distribution network between the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico and the greater Adams County area, the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

“This defendant was distributing massive amounts of fentanyl in our community and is now behind bars," said District Attorney Brian Mason in the news release. "Those who would distribute this poison must face the consequences and that’s exactly what happened here.”

In addition to the indictment, a number of seizures occurred as a result of Operation Dress for Less.

  • 84.3 pounds of fentanyl pills (approximately 381,824 pills)
  • 66 pounds of methamphetamine
  • 1.4 kilos of cocaine
  • 14g of heroin
  • 1 active methamphetamine lab
  • 5 guns
  • $93,000

Seven of the nine suspects arrested in the operation are in custody while two remain at large, according to the news release. Salazar is the first among the nine who were indicted to be convicted and sentenced.

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