Suspected Drug Kingpin Appears In Court [AUDIO]
A man accused of being part of a methamphetamine distribution ring appeared in District Court in Casper today (Monday).
Part of alleged distribution ring:
Sotero Negrete, 31, appeared before District Judge Thomas Sullins to hear the charges against him, including count 23, conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Negrete was among the people arrested by state and federal officers on Friday. The number of people involved in the case could be as high as 50.
District Attorney Mike Blonigen recommended that Negrete's bond be set at 500 thousand dollars, saying that Negrete was at the hub of a meth distribution ring.
Blonigen said they have reason to believe that the meth ring was moving 10 to 12 pounds of meth a week, that one and a half pounds of meth were seized during the arrest, that accounts were set up under different names to handle the money, and that vehicles were being used as currency in the drug distribution network.
The prosecutor also noted a loaded gun in a vehicle at the time of Negrete's arrest. Blonigan said Negrete has a history prior convictions and no ties to the community, characterizing the possibility of Negrete's flight as all but certain.
When given a chance to speak, Negrete said he was there to face his problems.
Judge Sullins set bond at 400 thousand dollars.