Jockey turned meth kingpin gets 32 years

Armando Rodriguez-Estrada

A former professional horse racing jockey, Armando Rodriguez-Estrada rose to become one of the largest dealers of methamphetamine in Grand Valley before his arrest last year, a prosecutor said today.

The man known as “Cuervo,” whom authorities spent the better part of two years investigating, was believed to have moved pound quantities of the drug since 2008.

Rodriguez-Estrada, 35, was sentenced by District Judge Brian Flynn to serve 32 years in state prison, the maximum term available to the judge following Rodriguez-Estrada’s guilty plea to distribution of meth.

Coupled with Friday’s 14-year prison sentence for 36-year-old Michelle Ortiz-Ramirez, criminal cases are now resolved for the pair who authorities claim commanded the two largest Mesa County drug organizations identified over recent years. Rodriguez-Estrada and Ortiz-Ramirez were among 30-plus arrests announced in a sweep in June 2010.

Rodriguez-Estrada’s voice is heard on “thousands” of suspected drug transactions captured by court-authorized wiretaps, Chief Deputy District Dan Rubinstein told Flynn.

Read the full story in Tuesday’s Daily Sentinel.


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