Convictions flow from spring sting

Two key defendants arrested during a June 2008 drug raid have had their day in court, with one beginning a two-year prison sentence last week, the other facing sentencing March 17.

According to court records and Archuleta County Sheriff Pete Gonzalez, 52-year-old Federico (“Bud”) Read of Pagosa Springs was sentenced Jan. 20 to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to distribution of a Schedule 2 controlled substance — a Class 3 felony.

Court records indicate Read received 179 days credit for time served and will pay $861 in court costs and restitution.

Gonzalez said Read was taken to prison Feb. 19.

The other defendant, Kenneth Williams Sr., 53, also of Pagosa Springs, pleaded guilty Feb. 3 to distribution of a Schedule 2 controlled substance — a Class 3 felony. In conjunction with the guilty plea, Williams tendered a plea agreement to the court, which, if accepted, could land Williams in prison for seven to 14 years with mandatory parole.

Williams’ plea agreement is not yet official, and he will go before District Judge Gregory Lyman for sentencing March 17.

Read and Williams were just two of eight suspects Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department deputies nabbed during the June 1 raid.

According to Archuleta County Undersheriff John Weiss, the initial sting resulted in the arrests of Richard Baker, age 56; David Bradley, 30; Shaun Mittie, 29; Christina Prunty, 29; Read; Andrew Salas, 29; and Williams Sr. An Archuleta County sheriff’s deputy arrested the remaining suspect — Edward Crider, 57, the next day.

According to court records, Baker is scheduled for pre-trial March 17 and a jury trial March 23.

Baker was charged with distribution of a Schedule 2 controlled substance (Class 3 felony), marijuana distribution (Class 4 felony) and resisting arrest (Class 2 misdemeanor).

Bradley pleaded guilty July 15 to distribution of a Schedule 3 controlled substance — a Class 4 felony — and was sentenced the same day to two years in prison with 44 days credit for time served.

Crider pleaded guilty to distribution of a Schedule 3 controlled substance (Class 4 felony) and was sentenced Sept. 9 to two years probation with 250 hours of community service. Court costs and restitution totaled $2,134.

Mittie pleaded guilty to distribution of a Schedule 2 controlled substance — a Class 3 felony — and was sentenced Oct. 7 to four years probation, 200 hours community service, 90 days in jail with 45 days credit for time served. Costs and restitution totaled $6,034.

Prunty pleaded guilty to attempted distribution of a Schedule 2 controlled substance — a Class 4 felony — and was sentenced Dec. 30 to three years probation, 60 hours community service and 30 days credit for time served. Costs and restitution totaled $6,919.

Salas is scheduled for pre-trial March 17 with a jury trial scheduled for March 23. Salas is charged with seven counts of distribution of a Schedule 2 controlled substance (Class 3 felony) and two added counts. The first, distribution (25 to 450 grams) of a Schedule 2 controlled substance — a Class 3 felony. The second, possession (one gram or less) of a Schedule 2 controlled substance — a Class 6 felony.

Weiss said the raid was the result of a 10-month interagency investigation led by Detective T.J. Fitzwater, a joint town and county narcotics officer.

Although sheriff’s department staff would not comment on the amount of drugs seized during the sting, Weiss said buys of nearly 100 grams of methamphetamine and cocaine led to obtainment of the arrest and search warrants.

Weiss said law enforcement officers seized three vehicles in the operation and asset forfeiture proceedings are pending against three properties in the Pagosa Springs area.

james@pagosasun.com