Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull gave Jance Wesley Varela, 29, a significant break as he sentenced him to a year and a day
Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull gave Jance Wesley Varela, 29, a significant break as he sentenced him to a year and a day, saying Varela was less culpable than others involved the trafficking ring.
Varela faced almost four years in prison under the guideline range. The sentence will allow Varela to qualify for a shorter term with good behavior.
“This intervention in my life has been a blessing,” Varela told the judge. He also turned and apologized to family members in the courtroom.
Cebull said Varela has legitimate medical problems and became addicted to pills as a result. To feed that addiction, Varela started distributing cocaine, he said. The judge also noted that Varela had taken steps to address his addiction.
Varela pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy, possession and distribution charges. There was no plea agreement.
Prosecutors said Varela was distributing cocaine to co-defendant Shawn Gerald Krum from March to September 2008. Varela also got cocaine from convicted dealer Chad Sanford, who, along with Travis Henry, a former Bronco player, and Henry’s co-defendant, James Mack, had obtained a large quantity of cocaine in Portland, Ore.
Varela took about a kilogram, which is a little more than 2 pounds, of cocaine to Montana but was supposedly robbed before he could distribute all of the drug, the prosecutors said.
Krum was sentenced earlier this year to three years of probation for his role, while Sanford, Henry and Mack were sentenced to about three years in prison.
Cebull allowed Varela to report to prison when he receives an assignment.