Montrose resident and ringleader of major drug trafficking operation on Western Slope sentenced to prison

He also had a drug trade themed ballad written about him
The case involved 13 defendants and took four years to reach a conclusion.
The case involved 13 defendants and took four years to reach a conclusion.(U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah / Pexels / DEA | U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah / Pexels / DEA)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 4:08 PM MDT
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DENVER, Colo. (KKCO) - A major ringleader in the Western Slope drug trafficking business has been sentenced to federal prison. Omar Briceno-Quijano, a 31-year-old resident of Montrose, Colorado, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Court documents state that Briceno-Quijano was the leader of the operation due to his relationship to his underlings. The documents say the “he was a leader because he was directing subordinates when and where to deliver narcotics and how to electronically remit money to him in Mexico.”

Briceno-Quijano was involved in sending illegal narcotics from Mexico to the Western Slope, where he would distribute the drugs via a phone-order system. Once Briceno-Quijano had a drug order, he would send a courier to make the delivery. The courier was typically Luis Ibarra-Tadeo, one of his co-defendants, though he occasionally used others. After the sale was made, Briceno-Quijano would receive payment via a wire transfer of funds from Colorado to Mexico, where he spent most of his time.

During the course of the money laundering conspiracy, Briceno-Quijano would supply funds to his co-defendant Catyria Lopez-Gomez and several other involved persons which Briceno-Quijano had collected. Lopez-Gomez would often transfer the funds through Dinero Rapido, a business located in Montrose, Colorado.

Briceno-Quijano’s drug trafficking involved at least 12 other people, many of whom are still pending sentencing. “This defendant was a ring-leader in a major drug trafficking operation, impacting a small community in Colorado,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. “This was a lengthy prosecution that involved 13 defendants. This significant sentence demonstrates our commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to keep offenders from dealing drugs on our streets.”

According to the sentencing agreement, Briceno-Quijano is also the subject of a drug trade themed narrative ballad known as a “narcocorrido,” a subgenre of the regional Mexican narrative ballad genre. The song, titled “El de la Super Duty,” details Briceno-Quijano’s life and many exploits, and according to court documents, contains a surprising amount of truth to both his life and is illicit activities.

The lyrics below are translated from Spanish.

Good afternoon, I present myself, with the respect of my friends. I am from last name Briseno, born over by Phoenix. My parents are from Los Mochis, and I am proud to say it. I did not like school, and very young I left from home from my parents and went to Colorado, it is where all this started.

I am going up and down in some relative’s house, when one day El Guero came by and asked me to take a freight from Phoenix to Colorado, that day is when my luck changed. And also over in Utah I was doing freight after freight. All of a sudden over the years, I established by store. With the help of Luisitio everything is excellent.

And that is how Los Alamons de la Sierra sound, relatives, with real pull, man. For the united Villages.

In San Luis Rio Colorado, I am well protected by some people, and also by a forty, which is the one that protects me. That berretta never fails neither do my people. I have Saint Judas tattooed and has never let my hand go. My daughter, my only female, how much do I love her. Also El Chon and El Pillo are my beloved sons too. With my mom’s blessing and my old man’s advice, backed up by my friend Y who is my friend. Phoenix, Utah, and Colorado, even though it is hot there is Ice. Horse races, is what I like, also to give rides to pretty women and drinking beer and liquor. If you see a Super Duty is because I am on the way.

"El de la Super Duty"

Law enforcement spoke with Montezuma County Sheriff Deputy Victor Galarza, who was a Mexican diplomat to the United States from 1989 to 1992 and focuses heavily on “Mexican narco culture.” Galarza stated that the song was a personal narcocorrido, likely commissioned by Briceno-Quijano himself. The lyrics detail both his exploits and his earlier life, tracing his childhood and young adulthood until he met the trafficker who provided his first drug— “El Guero.”

IRS-CI, DEA Rocky Mountain Division-Montrose Post of Duty, the Montrose Police Department, the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, and the Seventh Judicial District Drug Task Force, and the United States Marshals Service investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander Duncan and Zachary Phillips handled the prosecution.

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