Seven southern Coloradans with previous records in El Paso and Pueblo counties are being charged with drug trafficking and weapon charges after being indicted by a grand jury.
According to the indictment, Leonard Singleton, Jaime Sanchez, Gabriel Sanchez, Jose Baeza, Stephanie Barker, Leanne Wilson and Augustine Gallegos all conspired to distribute methamphetamine.
"(The defendants) did knowingly and intentionally combine, conspire, confederate and agree, with interdependence, to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine (actual) and 500 grams and more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine," the federal indictment from Nov. 15 reads.
Additionally, Baeza and Singleton are facing weapon possession by a previous offender charges.
Federal court records show that every defendant besides Singleton has been convicted of prior felony charges in El Paso County including robbery, motor vehicle theft, assault, escape from felony conviction and several controlled substance possession convictions among the six.
Singleton was convicted in Pueblo County on insurance fraud charges in 2018 and violating a protection order in 2014.
All seven defendants are facing a minimum of 10 years in prison, according to the indictment.
A news release issued by the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado on Friday said that the investigation was a 10-month long cooperative effort between the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Colorado Springs police.
“The success of this joint investigation is truly based on the strong relationships we have with our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts throughout Colorado,” DEA Rocky Mountain Division Special Agent in Charge Brian Besser said via the press release. “The DEA Rocky Mountain Division is committed to making this region a safer place to live and work and it is because of this strong collaboration with FBI, CBI and CSPD that we are able to say we’ve done that today.”
The news release states that six of the seven defendants have been arrested and made their first appearance in federal court, but that Gabriel Sanchez has yet to be arrested and "is considered a fugitive."
All six defendants who have been arrested have entered not guilty pleas, according to court records.
Court records show a status conference is set for all defendants in federal court in Denver on Monday. Court records also show that their trial is estimated to last five to seven days.