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Friday, June 24, 2022

Greeley man jailed for 120 years on 16 charges related to drug trafficking organization

A judge on Monday sentenced a 49-year-old Greeley man to 120 years at the Colorado Department of Corrections for 16 drug charges related to his involvement in a massive and long-running drug trafficking organization.

Luke Braziel, 49, appeared in person with defense attorney Stephanie Stout on Monday afternoon for a sentencing hearing before Welsh Judge Julie Hoskins.

Brazil’s case dates back to 2019 when the Weld County Drug Task Force launched an investigation into a major drug trafficking organization operating in Weld County. Several people were arrested during the investigation.

Brazil – who has a criminal history related to drugs in 1998 – and other members of his organization distributed a total of 28 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and heroin in the county, according to Greeley police. The task force learned that Brazil had distributed drugs from its residence in the 1800 block of 7th Avenue in Greeley.

Prosecutors from the Weld County District Attorney’s Office, Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Piraglia and Deputy District Attorney Patrick Roche, used evidence from the investigation to convict Brazil of multiple drug offense charges. A jury found him guilty of 14 counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and two counts of distribution of controlled substances.

“There is no one tougher on me than myself,” Braziel said in tears during his sentencing hearing on Monday.

During the hearing, Stout said that the Brazilian case “broke her heart”, with her argument focusing on her substance abuse issues, which began at age 12, as well as issues such as It also highlighted the lack of resources and assistance in the country for people struggling with

While Stout placed a spotlight on Brazil’s addiction and background, Piraglia’s argument centered around Brazil’s relationship with drugs, based on selling them to members of the community rather than using them. According to Piraglia, the gravity of Brazil’s crimes can be seen through their impact on the community and the ripple effect caused by the spread of poison throughout the county.

“We have a huge drug problem in this country, and especially in this county,” Piraglia said. “It’s everywhere, Judge, and that’s the exact person to be causing this problem.”

Piraglia pointed out the major difference between someone who uses and someone who deals, and the clear distinction points to Brazil’s role as a dealer who gives victims “no shame” about their business. “With benefits. In this case, prosecutors said testimony showed Brazil was trading in at least 14 pounds of meth in less than a month.

“Users usually get treatment, dealers get DOC,” Piraglia asked the court to consider the amount of unidentified secondary victims whose addictions were fed Brazil.

Although prosecutors never asked for a specific number or range in sentencing, they suggested a higher amount – Brazil faced a range of 8 to 342 years to provide a reasonable warning and deterrent.

Piraglia also talked about issues of truth in sentencing, with many individuals with similar sentences in Brazil rarely serving up to a third of their sentences. To show that Brazil was aware of this fact, prosecutors included audio of a phone call from the prison into the argument, where he says, “If they give me 20, I’m only 6. I will.”

However, Stout argued that these statements about the punishment given by Piraglia were “untrue and ridiculous”. She said the maximum amount for prisoners serving a sentence is 75-80%, while the minimum is around 33%. Additionally, the court cannot make a decision on what the Colorado Department of Corrections or parole will do, according to its logic.

Overall, Stout requested a range of 10-20 years, insisting that the top man of the drug-trafficking organization received only 30 years in prison for his crimes after a plea agreement. It indicated that the border would recognize seriousness, provide rehabilitation and promote appropriate punishment.

“The court sees you as a person, but I also have to look at the things you have done as a person,” Hoskins said of Brazil’s more than 20-year criminal history. Based on his history, he believed that he was more likely to return to the drug business if released from prison, which is why he tried to avoid the risk of selling drugs in the future. 120 years time.

A dispute hearing is scheduled for July 8 at 9:30 a.m. in the Weld District Court in Brazil.

When Hoskins asked if he’d prefer to listen virtual or in-person, he replied, “It doesn’t matter, I’ll be turned off anyway. I’ll see you when I see you.”

World Nation News Desk
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