Dealing In Death: Prison Time Awarded to Grand Junction Fentanyl Dealer
Colorado is cracking down on those who distribute Fentanyl in the state, and a Grand Junction man is one of the latest to face judgment.
According to a press release from the Colorado Department of Justice, Christopher Hugget, 30, was recently sentenced to serve, "14 years in federal prison for the distribution of fentanyl resulting in death."
Fentanyl Dealer Hits the Western Slope
In 2017, Hugget received a shipment of pills that he marketed as Oxycodone, but in reality, the pills contained Fentanyl.
At the time, Hugget was working alongside Bruce Holder, who informed Hugget that, "several people had overdosed and that some had died after using these pills."
Despite the warning, Hugget continued to sell the pills across Mesa county and the western slope.
Fentanyl Overdoses Across the Western Slope
Zacharia Green was a client of Hugget's and purchased several pills that he believed to be Oxycodone. Green then sold a small amount of the pills to another friend identified only as "J.E"
Unfortunately for J.E. on or around December 28, 2017, he ingested one of the pills and died. Zacharia Green also ingested a small amount of the drug the same day, lost consciousness, and stopped breathing. A co-worker found Green unconscious and called for emergency help.
Luckily, Green was able to be saved when emergency personnel administered Narcan (Naloxone).
The Fentanyl Cycle Continues in Colorado
Hugget was once again aware of the overdoses caused by the pills he was distributing but less than two months after the incidents chose to travel with Holder to Mexico to purchase more.
The pair returned to Grand Junction with thousands of pills containing Fentanyl concealed in the dash of Holder’s vehicle.
“Fentanyl is deadly and it’s pervasive. Dealers distributing fentanyl have our full attention,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan.
I urge Coloradans to be on guard. Fentanyl is being disguised in many different drugs – and it can kill you. Please do not take a drug unless you get it from a pharmacist.
Fentanyl Dealer Sentenced for Western Colorado Deaths
Hugget was ultimately arrested along with Holder for the distribution of Fentanyl and the overdoses they caused.
In an effort to avoid further charges, Hugget is also accused of soliciting the murder of a witness. Hugget rebuffed the claims and stated that it was only to keep up jail appearances.
However, Hugget offered two inmates $5,000 and a vehicle to arrange for Green’s death and even provided an address where he could be found.
“Today’s sentence is a direct result of the dedicated work of the FBI and our federal, state, and local partners to combat criminal organizations that distribute fentanyl and other dangerous substances with no regard for the devastation it has on our communities,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael H. Schneider.
“The FBI will continue to investigate individuals and groups who attempt to further the scourge of drugs and violence in the areas we serve. The FBI thanks our partners, including DEA, Western Colorado Drug Task Force, the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for their diligence and collaboration.”
Hugget was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison and upon completion of his sentence will serve 3 years of supervised release.
Holder was convicted of distributing fentanyl resulting in death and is due to be sentenced on May 4, 2022.
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