Man gets 13 years for meth dealing caught on wiretap
A Mesa County methamphetamine dealer arrested more than a year ago after a multi-month investigation that included wiretapping has been sentenced to 13 years in prison as part of a plea agreement.
Christopher Pryor, a 28-year-old who was identified as a high-level dealer in a Grand Junction drug ring during a July 2016 sting, pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to distribute drugs Friday afternoon before Mesa County District Judge Lance Timbreza.
Defense attorney JR Davis said during the hearing that while his client has accepted full responsibility for his actions, he believes Pryor’s then-girlfriend Rhiannon Arredondo — another major player in the ring — took advantage of his lack of “intellectual wherewithal.”
Pryor, Arredondo, and dozens of others were accused of acting as career drug dealers who distributed meth and black tar heroin, sometimes by the pound.
Arredondo was sentenced in January to nine years in prison as part of a plea deal that Mesa County prosecutor Bo Zeerip said was agreed to in part because of her “early and full” cooperation with investigators.
Pryor, whose family attended the hearing, tearfully read a statement to Timbreza asking him to accept the plea deal.
“I’m not a bad person, but I have made some bad life choices, and I am sorry,” he said. “I know … it has affected a lot of people.”
Timbreza agreed to the deal, noting Pryor’s adverse life and crediting him for taking full responsibility.
He urged Pryor to work toward his GED while in prison, and warned him not to “let people take advantage of you.”
Shawn Kuhn, who was identified as the organization’s kingpin, is set to be sentenced as part of his plea bargain on Sept. 5 by Mesa County District Judge Brian Flynn.