DENVER — A Colorado man was sentenced Tuesday to serve 10 years in federal prison for distributing and possessing methamphetamine, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Jason R. Dunn, District of Colorado, and Special Agent in Charge Steven W. Cagen, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Denver.
Daniel Mata-Armendariz, 23, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on Feb. 6, 2018; a superseding indictment was obtained on March 20. Mata-Armendariz pleaded guilty before by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello on June 5, 2018. He was sentenced on Nov. 13.
According to the stipulated facts contained in the defendant’s plea agreement, between Nov. 21 and Dec. 14, 2017, Mata-Armendariz sold quantities of methamphetamine as well as cocaine and heroin to an undercover law enforcement officer. Prior to Nov. 16, 2017, the undercover officer learned about an individual who sold controlled substances in Colorado Springs. On Nov. 16, 2017, the officer purchased 15.2 grams of methamphetamine from that individual. On Nov. 20, the officer contacted the individual in order to arrange another sale scheduled for the following day. On Nov. 21, 2017, the individual stated to the officer that he wished to introduce him to the source of supply, Mata-Armendariz.
On Nov. 21, 2017, Mata-Armendariz offered to sell the undercover officer an ounce of heroin for $1,250. He also asked the undercover officer if he wanted to purchase firearms, such as two AK-47s for $600 each, Glock pistol for $300 to $400, a Mack-10 capable of full automatic fire for $800 or another firearm. Eventually, Mata-Armendariz sold the undercover officer 86.5 grams of methamphetamine. Mata-Armendariz also showed the officer pictures of firearms on his phone. On Nov. 27, Mata-Armendariz sold the undercover officer 14 grams of heroin, 22 grams of cocaine and a 9mm pistol, all for $2,000. On Dec. 6, 2017, Mata-Armendariz sold the officer 221.5 grams of methamphetamine for $2,550. Yet again, on Dec. 14, 2017, Mata-Armendariz sold him 113.5 grams of methamphetamine.
On Jan. 1, 2018, Mata-Armendariz was driving a car in Colorado Springs when he was pulled over by law enforcement. During the lawful traffic stop, officers learned that Mata-Armendariz had an outstanding felony arrest warrant. Officers observed a handgun in plain view between the driver’s seat and the center console. Officers later discovered that the gun had a full magazine and a round in the chamber, and it was readily accessible to Mata-Armendariz when he sat in the driver’s seat.
Officers ran the serial number on the handgun and determined it was reported stolen. Officers also found Mata-Armendariz’s backpack in the car, and discovered several baggies containing controlled substances, including a bag containing about 15 grams of heroin, one containing 4.9 grams of cocaine, and five separate baggies containing a total of 69.4 grams of methamphetamine. On Jan. 2, 2018, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Mata-Armendariz’s apartment. During the search, numerous firearms and ammunition were recovered, including two AK-47s, and a .40-caliber pistol.
The parties stipulated that Mata-Armendariz sold or possessed with the intent to distribute a total of 490.9 grams of methamphetamine, 29 grams of heroin, and 26.9 grams of cocaine.
In addition to his prison sentence, Judge Arguello also ordered Mata-Armendariz to serve four years on supervised release. Mata-Armendariz appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody; he was remanded into U.S. Marshals Service custody at the conclusion of the hearing.
This case was investigated by the Colorado Springs Police Department and HSI Denver.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel McIntyre, District of Colorado, prosecuted this case.