Craig man sentenced to 22 years in prison for drug, weapons charges in Moffat, Routt counties | SteamboatToday.com

Craig man sentenced to 22 years in prison for drug, weapons charges in Moffat, Routt counties

Staff report/Craig Press

CRAIG — Melvin Newton, 51, of Craig, was sentenced Friday to 22 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections after entering guilty pleas in two pending cases in Moffat and Routt counties, according to a news release from the Office of the District Attorney for the 14th Judicial District.

Melvin Newton

According to the release, the Routt County case arose from a May 2017 traffic stop in Hayden, during which approximately 15 grams of methamphetamine were found hidden in a light fixture in the back of Newton's truck.

The Moffat County case stemmed from an August 2017 search warrant executed at Newton's home by the All Crimes Enforcement Team, during which Newton was found to be in possession of approximately six grams of methamphetamine as well as a firearm.

During an interview with police in the Moffat County case, Newton admitted he had recently possessed more than 50 additional grams of methamphetamine and that "business has been really good."

Newton pleaded guilty to Level 2 felony possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in the Routt County case. In the Moffat case, he pleaded guilty to one count of Level 1 possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute as a special offender, as well as possession of a weapon by a prior offender.

"Melvin Newton once boasted he was one of the biggest methamphetamine dealers in our jurisdiction,” said Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Jennings, who prosecuted the cases. “Unlike many of the simple drug possession cases we see, which often arise primarily from addiction issues and require a strong recovery and rehabilitation response, Mr. Newton represented a predatory force, taking advantage of people suffering from addiction and destroying lives and families to maximize his profits. A long prison sentence is entirely appropriate here, and it should send a strong message to those who would peddle in deadly narcotics in Northwest Colorado."

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The release said the dual county investigation was led by ACET, including officers from the Craig Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff's Office, Routt County Sheriff's Office, Steamboat Springs Police Department and Hayden Police Department.

"We are grateful for the hard work and diligence of our partners in law enforcement who put these cases together,” said DA Brett Barkey. “Their efforts have taken a dangerous individual, one responsible for many ruined lives, off the streets."