KINGMAN - A former Operation Picture Perfect defendant who avoided jail time in that case is going to prison for more than four years for violating his probation for selling methamphetamine to an informant the same day his probation started.
Manuel Monteiro was one of 18 people arrested in April 2008 as part of a major methamphetamine ring bust. Monteiro's role in the operation was characterized as minor and he got one of the lightest punishments, receiving three years probation after pleading guilty pursuant to Alford to one count of conspiracy to sell dangerous drugs. An Alford plea is similar to a no contest plea in which a defendant doesn't formally admit guilt but acknowledges that there is some evidence against them.
His probation was set to begin April 12. But police say that's the same day he sold methamphetamine to the informant. He was also alleged to have sold meth twice to informants later that week.
The undercover buys were part of a larger sting targeting street-level dealers in Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City. Seventy-five people were arrested as the result of that operation.
Monteiro was tried earlier this month for three counts of selling dangerous drugs for the April buys. That trial ended in a hung jury. But Judge Steven Conn found Monteiro guilty of violating his probation for the April arrests, as well as testing positive for meth May 19, and sentenced the 35-year-old Kingman man to 4-1/2 years in prison.
Prosecutor Greg McPhillips said the probation violation isn't the same as being found guilty of the three drug sale charges. He said he intends to retry that case if he and the defense can't work out a plea agreement to resolve those charges.