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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Colorado
Cole Finegan, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, February 23, 2024

Monte Vista Man Sentenced to 30 Months After Conviction on Firearms Charges

DURANGO, Colo. — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces that Titus Naranjo, 42, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release for possessing firearms after previously being convicted of a felony. Naranjo will serve his federal sentence consecutively to a Colorado prison sentence for a felony drug distribution offense.

According to court documents, Naranjo was a well-known drug dealer in Monte Vista. Naranjo had five prior drug-related convictions dating back to 2015 in Rio Grande County, including several felonies. In April 2021, law enforcement searched Naranjo’s residence, yielding a large amount of methamphetamine. In November of that same year, local law enforcement encountered Naranjo while executing a search warrant on a house to facilitate the arrest of another drug dealer and gang member. Officers found a Charter Arms .38 special revolver in one of Naranjo’s pockets, and 14 grams of methamphetamine in the other.

“Armed drug dealers present a unique danger to our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. “Effective coordination between our local partners, like our cooperation with the Monte Vista Police Department and the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] in this case can and do result in significant consequences and deterrence.”

"The Monte Vista Police Department will continue to pursue criminals in our communities who are dealing drugs and poisoning our citizens,” said Monte Vista Police Chief George Dingfelder. “Our commitment to the community is to use all available resources to hold these people accountable for their crimes.”

“Firearms illegally possessed by violent felons, especially when involved in drug activity, frequently lead to an increase of violent crime within our communities," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Brent Beavers. “Our commitment remains unwavering in targeting these individuals while working hand in hand with our law enforcement partners to reduce violent crime.”

The Monte Vista Police Department and ATF conducted the investigation in this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Graves handled the prosecution.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.


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