Colorado Springs man sentenced for drugs, guns, carjacking

A Colorado Springs man has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for drug and gun crimes, including a car jacking, according to authorities.

Miguel Lerma Cruz, 39, pleaded guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Denver and was immediately sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson, according to a news release. Cruz, who is also known as Daniel Ortega, was remanded into custody.

Cruz was first charged by criminal complaint on Oct. 17, 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney District of Colorado release. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 26, 2017.

On May 29, 2017, Colorado Springs police were called about a disturbance at the El Ranchito Meat Market. A woman told police that Cruz had threatened her, reaching for a firearm tucked into the waistline of his pants, before leaving the market.

Cruz, driving a white Dodge pickup truck, then led police on a long chase through Colorado Springs, running red lights and slamming into a marked patrol vehicle and striking two vehicles. His truck was disabled in a collision, the release said. Cruz jumped from the truck, dropping a 9mm handgun to the ground. Still armed, with an AR-15 type rifle, Cruz carjacked a sedan from a woman and escaped police.

Police seized the Dodge pickup and recovered a blue tote bag containing 270 grams of heroin, 623 grams of methamphetamine, $20,000 in cash and ammunition. Police found another $10,000 in cash in the center console.

On June 1, 2017, detectives found Cruz in a Chevrolet Camaro, in Colorado Springs, and arrested him. Seized from the Camaro was $4,000 cash and an AR-15 style rifle with a sawed-off handle.

“The defendant went on a crime spree, injuring some, endangering others, and rightfully will spend the next 25 years in prison,” said U.S. Attorney Jason R. Dunn.  “The Colorado Springs Police Department and the ATF did an outstanding job working to identify, locate, and arrest this dangerous individual.”

The case was investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives along with Colorado Springs police.


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