Drug dealer goes from probation to 12.5 years
KINGMAN - There will be no third chances for a man who avoided prison in a major drug bust only to go on to sell drugs the day his probation started.
Manuel Monteiro pleaded guilty last month to one count of selling methamphetamine for three sales made to an undercover informant earlier this year. Police say the first sale took place on April 12, the day Monteiro's probation began for his role in the Operation Picture Perfect methamphetamine ring case.
Monteiro was one of 18 people arrested in the bust of the ring, which was reported to have brought in more than 500 pounds of meth to Kingman over a year's time.
Monteiro's role in the ring 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 evidence against them.
Mohave Superior Court Judge Steven Conn found Monteiro guilty last month of violating the terms of his probation for the April buys, as well as testing positive for meth May 19, and sentenced him to 4 ½ years in prison.
The probation violation is a separate case from the actual charges. A trial on the three counts led to a hung jury in December. Rather than be retried and face a lengthier sentence if convicted, Monteiro opted instead to strike a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to one count of selling meth in exchange for eight years in prison.
Conn had the option of whether to make the sentence consecutive or concurrent with the four years he received for the probation violation.
Conn chose consecutive, sending Monteiro to the Department of Corrections for a total of 12.5 years.