February 11, 2011
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5600
Third Dealer Sentenced In Colorado River Indian Tribes Community Undercover Takedown
Federal Tribal Task Force targeted dealers selling potent highly pure form of methamphetamine
PHOENIX, AZ. - The Honorable David G. Campbell on Monday sentenced Rosie Cruz Leivas, 33, of Parker to 57 months in federal prison after she pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Leivas, a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, was the third defendant sentenced as part of an undercover operation lasting more than a year.
Leivas sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant on three separate dates while she was at work at the tribe’s Farms Office in Poston, Ariz. Over three buys, Leivas sold the informant 43.9 grams of “actual” methamphetamine for $3,500. “Actual” methamphetamine refers to a high level of purity of the drug.
“Methamphetamine is a significant threat to our tribal communities,” said Doug Coleman, Drug Enforcement (DEA) Acting Special Agent in Charge. “Side by side with our courageous tribal and federal law enforcement partners, we are holding meth dealers accountable, seizing their profits and shutting down their distribution network.”
“Meth dealers must face the harsh consequences of distributing such a highly addictive and dangerous drug to our Indian communities,” said Dennis K. Burke, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. “This case was the result of tremendous teamwork to combat a very serious problem.”
Burke also thanked the law enforcement partners who took part in the operation, in particular the La Paz County Narcotics Task Force, for their work in fighting the sale of methamphetamine in Indian Country.
The Task Force -- in conjunction with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Colorado River Indian Tribes Police Department, and DEA -- targeted people with a known history of dealing methamphetamine out of their homes and places of work in the Colorado River Indian Tribes community.
As part of the same case, Melody Stevens, 37, of Parker, Ariz., also a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, was sentenced in October 2010 to 60 months in federal prison by the Honorable G. Murray Snow after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Stevens, already a convicted felon, was working with a co-conspirator when she sold 12.7 grams of actual methamphetamine to a confidential informant for $600.
Clorinda Nopah, 61, of Parker, and also a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, was sentenced in June 2010 to 60 months in federal prison by the Honorable Earl H. Carroll after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Nopah had a prior felony conviction for selling methamphetamine. Nopah sold a total of 20.4 grams of actual methamphetamine for $1,180 over three drug buys to the same buyer on the Colorado River Indian Tribes reservation.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the La Paz County Narcotics Task Force, the Colorado River Indian Tribes Police Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and DEA. The prosecution was handled by Jennifer E. Green, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.