(The Center Square) – An Oregon woman received a seven-year federal prison sentence for trafficking methamphetamine and fentanyl earlier this month.
Krista Vela, a 39-year-old from Deschutes County, was sentenced on August 16. She will also face five years of supervised release.
“Today marks a significant victory in our ongoing fight against the scourge of methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking. With the successful arrest and conviction of Krista Vela, we have dealt a decisive blow to the criminal networks that seek to spread destruction in the central Oregon community,” said Sergeant Kent van der Kamp of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, according to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon. “This outcome is a testament to the tireless efforts of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team (CODE), and our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We remain resolute in our commitment to ensure the safety of central Oregon, and this case serves as a powerful reminder that those who peddle in illegal drugs will face the full force of justice.”
Court documents in the case say the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and CODE identified Vela as a supply source for a prominent drug dealer in the area in November 2020.
A month later, investigators seized many luggage pieces from a hotel room Vela rented in Sunriver, Oregon.
The bags contained drug packaging materials, a digital scale, a GPS tracking device, 15 kilograms of methamphetamine, and two kilograms of fentanyl.
Additionally, one of these bags contained many pieces of paperwork with her name on them.
Vela was charged with conspiracy to possess and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl in December 2021. The following April, a federal grand jury in Eugene returned a two-count indictment that charged Vela and an accomplice “with conspiring with one another to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl,” the release said.
Vela pleaded guilty to both charges in July 2023.
The seven-year prison sentence she received runs concurrent with another seven-year sentence she received on March 16, 2023, in Montana for a separate drug trafficking conviction.
Homeland Security Investigations, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, and CODE investigated this case. Adam E. Delph, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, prosecuted it.