One of three defendants in the 2015 drive-by shooting in Colona is to spend nine years in prison.
Ivar Quezada, originally charged with attempted first-degree assault and a host of other offenses, recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and, in a separate case, to possession with intent to distribute drugs.
He was sentenced to five years in the assault conspiracy case and four years, consecutive, on the drug offense, District Attorney Dan Hotsenpiller and Deputy District Attorney Jason Wilson, who prosecuted the case, announced Friday.
Although no one was injured in the shooting, the offense to which Quezada pleaded is considered a crime of violence and entails “extreme indifference” — meaning he acted in a way that created a grave risk of death to another person.
His plea resulted in the dismissal of a 2016 drug and vehicular assault case from Montrose, along with the dismissal of a Ouray County case separate from the assault conspiracy case.
“Mr. Quezada was held accountable for being involved in the weapons offense and assault that occurred near Colona,” Hotsenpiller said. “Our investigation revealed he was likely not the shooter. He was not the driver, but he was involved in setting up the circumstances that resulted in the shooting at the motor vehicle. He was held accountable for his extensive drug-dealing in the 7th Judicial District.”
In July 2015, Quezada, Wesley Miller and allegedly Antonio Arredondo were part of a trio that opened fire on a vehicle near Colona, just over the Montrose-Ouray County line.
The shots missed the vehicle’s occupant and the man gave chase, while also calling authorities. Deputies chased the suspect vehicle into Montrose County, where it became stuck on a dirt road.
Miller surrendered, initially telling authorities the other two had forced their way into his truck while it was parked in Montrose and forced him to drive after another vehicle, according to Miller’s affidavit in a traffic complaint.
The man whose vehicle was fired upon happened to be driving a similar vehicle.
Miller has since pleaded guilty to felony menacing in the shooting case and to felony menacing and felony eluding in a Montrose case, Hotsenpiller said. He is to be sentenced Monday.
It took some time to identify Arredondo as the third suspect, Hotsenpiller said.
By the time a warrant was issued, Arredondo was in prison on a Mesa County case, per the DA. Arredondo has yet to appear in the Ouray County shooting case, in which he was charged with four counts of attempted first-degree assault; felony menacing and two counts of illegal discharge of a firearm.
Another person, Leslie Jones, was charged in the case as an accessory, as well as with bond violations, drug and drug conspiracy offenses.
She is accused of helping Quezada with the intent to hinder authorities from finding or arresting him, despite knowing he was wanted, according to the complaint.
Jones also allegedly conspired with Quezada shortly after the shooting to sell methamphetamine and cocaine while out on bond in a Mesa County case, the complaint says.
Montrose County deputies and Colorado Bureau of Investigation agents who served a warrant about a week after the shooting on the home Jones shared with Quezada allegedly found drugs there.
Plea negotiations are ongoing in Jones’ case.
Quezada and Jones also were arrested on warrants after holing up in another person’s Montrose apartment last December. That prompted a multi-agency response and the deployment of Montrose Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team.
No charges have been filed with respect to the standoff itself, Hotsenpiller said.
“As part of this (Quezada) agreement, we agreed not to file any charges,” he said.
The warrants upon which Quezada was arrested at the apartment were issued by other jurisdictions or were for offenses since taken addressed by his plea agreement. This plea agreement did not address Quezada’s warrants from jurisdictions outside of the 7th Judicial District, the DA said.
Jones also was arrested on a warrant from another jurisdiction at the time of the standoff, Hotsenpiller said.