Arizona baseball player pleads guilty to drug trafficking charges in Eagle County
After initially pleading not guilty, a former Arizona minor league baseball player pleaded guilty to drug trafficking in Eagle County during a hearing Wednesday morning.
Jesus Camargo-Corrales, 25, reversed his request to accept an offer from the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. He chose to plead guilty to a Class 1 drug crime instead of going to trial to fight his full list of charges: six drug crimes and two “special offender” enhancers.
Camargo-Corrales originally faced four Class 1 drug offenses – the highest level of drug charges in Colorado – and two Class 4 drug offenses for his alleged possession and his intention to distribute the 21 pounds of suspected methamphetamine and 1.2 pounds of suspected oxycodone pills found in his car during a March 17 bust in Eagle.
He was also charged with two increases in sentence for “special offenders” because of the large amount of drugs involved and their importation into Colorado, according to court records.
Camargo-Corrales was a pitcher for a few minor league baseball teams, most recently playing for the South Bend Cubs, a Chicago Cubs affiliate, according to his profile on the official Minor League Baseball website..
On March 22, five days after his arrest, the South Bend Cubs placed Camargo-Corrales on the league’s “shortlist”, according to the profile.
Camargo-Corrales is originally from Sinaloa, Mexico, but was living in Tempe, Arizona when he was arrested in Eagle in March.
Nothing was said during Wednesday’s plea hearing to indicate why Camargo-Corrales chose to cancel his trial date and change his guilty plea.
“Do you understand that today is a final decision, once you have pleaded guilty it is very difficult to change your mind? 5th Judicial District Court judge Paul R. Dunkelman asked Camargo-Corrales on Wednesday.
Yes, he understands, Camargo-Corrales said through the court interpreter.
He then pleaded guilty to one count: possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance weighing more than 225 grams.
The charge is a Class 1 drug felony punishable by at least 8 years and no more than 32 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, Dunkelman said. It also includes a three-year mandatory parole period and fines ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 1 million, plus a “drug surcharge” of $ 4,500.
However, the plea deal stipulates that Camargo-Corrales will be sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison.
As for the sentencing hearing, Dunkelman initially suggested it be held on the morning of December 8, but Camargo-Corrales defense attorney requested that it be postponed.
This would give the defense more time to receive and respond to the pre-sentence investigation conducted by the probation service, which takes anywhere from two weeks to 30 days to produce and provides an additional layer of evidence for the judge to consider before proceeding. make a sentence decision.
Taking the Christmas break into account, the defense requested a sentencing hearing in January.
“So we’re not going to push that far for a number of reasons,” Dunkelman said.
The first is that Camargo-Corrales would have to stay in the Eagle County Jail until then and would not receive “credit” for time already served if he was sentenced to incarceration in the Colorado Department of Corrections. Prisons and state jails operate on different “credit” systems, so those months spent in the county jail would not count towards his jail term, Dunkelman said.
“And the other is, I don’t think it’s good practice to have someone with a long sentence (Corrections Department) sit in a county jail,” Dunkelman said.
The sentencing hearing was finally set for the morning of December 22.