CARBON COUNTY — A New Mexico man is potentially facing decades in prison and/or $50,000 in fines for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine into Carbon County.
Patrick M. Sambrano, 42, whose last known address was in El Paso, Texas, is facing one count of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to delivery of a controlled substance. Both counts have a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines, respectively.
Sambrano was scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning, but according to Carbon County District Court clerk Mara Sanger, his arraignment needs to be rescheduled.
According to the arrest affidavit:
Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Jonathan Reece met with a criminal informant on April 29. The informant told Reece that they had arranged to purchase two ounces of methamphetamine from a man named Kinsey Vega.
Vega had a source bringing meth to Saratoga from New Mexico.The informant agreed to pay Vega $1,200 for the drugs.
The informant and Reece met at a predetermined location, where Reece provided the informant with the money for the meth sale. He also gave the informant a wireless transmitter/recorder to document the purchase.
That afternoon, the informant met with Vega on a dirt road about two miles outside of Saratoga. Vega told the informant that “it should be here right now.” After a few minutes of waiting for the source, Vega told the informant he needed to get back to work and the two agreed to meet up later at Vega’s residence when the source arrived in town.
Less than an hour later, the informant contacted Reece, letting him know that Vega’s source arrived in Saratoga and that they would make the purchase at Vega’s home, located in the 200 block of West Elm Street.
During the meeting, agents could hear the informant having a conversation with Vega and an unidentified male, who was introduced as “Paquito,” over the transmitter.
After about five minutes at Vega’s residence, the informant left and met up with Reece, where they turned over the two ounces of meth. During the meeting, “Paquito” told the informant that the meth would actually cost $1,400, but Vega told the informant that he would take care of the extra $200, since he had originally told the informant that the meth would cost $1,200.
The informant told Reece and other agents that children were present during the controlled buy and on other occasions, which was confirmed by a fellow special agent. The meth was weighed and tested, which came back positive for being a controlled substance.
Agents reviewed investigation records, which led to the informant to identify “Paquito” as Sambrano.
On May 24, Reece and another special agent met with Vega at the Carbon County Detention Center in Rawlins. Vega was in custody for an unrelated criminal offense. After being given his Miranda rights, Vega said he understood and that he wished to speak with the agents. They then told him they wanted to speak with him about the distribution and trafficking of meth in Carbon County.
A special agent told Vega that he was being surveilled by agents and other parties in the Saratoga area. Vega was asked whether Sambrano was a family member. He asked agents for a moment, as he started crying. He told the agents he needed to get out of jail for his children, but was told that wasn’t possible.
Vega told the agents that his meth source was Sambrano, who is from Las Cruces, New Mexico. He didn’t know where Sambrano got his meth, but was told it was the “mother load.” He said Sambrano ruined his life by getting him hooked on meth.
Vega told agents that his relationship with Sambrano started seven or eight years ago, when the latter man was dating Vega’s cousin. He said Sambrano would give him “dope” for fun.
Six years ago, Vega moved to Wyoming to get away from Sambrano and to get clean. He said he did well for more than three years, until he met his wife Lucy. He started seeing “tricks and hints” about her using drugs and when he asked if she could get meth, she told him yes. He said the couple has been using meth off and on since then.
When asked how Sambrano came back into his life, Vega told agents that the informant approached him, looking for large quantities of meth. He arranged the sale between the informant and Sambrano. He also added that he received an eight-ball (three and a half grams) of meth for setting up the sale.
Vega was asked whether or not he had ever transported meth for Sambrano from New Mexico to Wyoming, which he denied. He said that the only time he’d gotten meth from Sambrano since moving to Wyoming was when he traveled to New Mexico on vacation for personal use. He also told agents that this was the only sale he’d set up with Sambrano and anyone else.
Ellen Fike is a freelance writer living in Cheyenne. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @EllenLFike.