Monte Vista drug dealer sentenced to 16 years

Karl Kloeppel

DURANGO — The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado announces Karl Kloeppel of Monte Vista, was sentenced to 192 months (16 years) in federal prison, followed by four years of supervised release for possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

United States District Court Judge Robert Blackburn handed down the sentence on August 2, 2022, following Kloeppel’s guilty plea on April 11, 2022.    

According to court documents and facts present at sentencing, Kloeppel was a convicted felon and established drug dealer operating in the San Luis Valley in Monte Vista. On October 16, 2020, Kloeppel was under surveillance by federal agents and local law enforcement on a pending state warrant. Kloeppel left his residence in a BMW with approximately 210 grams of pure methamphetamine and a .45 caliber handgun.

While a Colorado State Patrol Trooper pulled Kloeppel over, he handed the drugs and gun to the passenger in the BMW and ordered him to “put it in his pants.” Law enforcement later executed a search warrant for Kloeppel’s home and found video of him holding the gun and drugs before entering the car.

A search warrant for Kloeppel’s phone found many text messages about buying and selling drugs. After federal indictment, Kloeppel asked his girlfriend on a recorded phone call from jail to “throw herself under the bus” by claiming possession of the drugs and going to prison instead.

“Mr. Kloeppel was caught red handed with thousands of doses of methamphetamine and a .45 caliber handgun, but tried to deflect the blame on others,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. “Let me be clear: if you deal drugs and possess illegal weapons in the San Luis Valley, you will be caught and spend years of your life in prison.” 

“DEA’s mission is clear: to make our communities safer and healthier. Today I can say, without question, we are safer with this dangerous drug trafficker off our streets,” said DEA Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge Brian Besser. “Our communities need to be aware that methamphetamine remains a significant threat and a major priority of DEA’s Denver Field Division.” 

"The outcome of this investigation and the subsequent sentence handed down was the result of a thorough investigation by the Monte Vista Police Department with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents and the US Attorney's Office in Durango,” said Monte Vista Police Chief George A. Dingfelder. “Without the cooperation and assistance from our federal partners, this defendant would have continued to poison and endanger our community through his criminal activity. We will continue to use every resource and avenue available to hold criminals who endanger our community accountable to their actions."

This investigation was conducted jointly by federal and state partners, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Monte Vista Police Department, and Colorado State Patrol. Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey Graves and Josh Player handled the prosecution of the case.

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