(PUEBLO, Colo.) — A Pueblo man has been sentenced to over 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute methamphetamine and Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, 44-year-old Kenneth Lawrence Baca was sentenced to 190 months on Feb. 1 in connection to an October 2021 investigation by Pueblo police detectives.

According to the plea agreement, on Oct. 12, 2021, detectives with the Pueblo Police Department (PPD) were investigating Baca after receiving an anonymous tip that he was selling a large amount of narcotics. A detective messaged Baca undercover on Facebook, and Baca agreed to sell heroin and meth.

On Oct. 13, Baca agreed to meet the undercover detective in Baca’s hotel room in Pueblo. Officers set up surveillance in the parking lot of the motel, and saw Baca pull into the parking lot in a truck with no front license plate and expired registration. Officers also knew prior to this encounter that Baca did not have a valid driver’s license.

On these grounds, officers pulled Baca over. Given Baca’s known history, an officer told Baca he would be patted down for weapons, and Baca responded that he had a pistol in his pocket. Baca was immediately placed into custody and detectives retrieved the pistol from Baca’s pocket.

A search of the truck Baca was driving revealed a backpack containing methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, a digital scale, $1,746 in U.S. currency, a notebook that appeared to be a drug ledger, and a wallet containing Baca’s identification cards.

Officers also searched the hotel room registered in Baca’s name, and found fentanyl, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a suspected drug ledger, and $1,018 in U.S. currency. At the time he was found in possession of the gun and ammunition, he was on supervised release after serving time for a previous Felon in Possession of a Weapon conviction.

“This defendant repeatedly committed crimes with no regard for the law,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan. “The fact that the defendant was on supervised release when he committed these crimes exemplifies this solemn reality. This sentence achieves the goals of deterring such criminal conduct, while simultaneously protecting our community from drugs and weapons.”