One of the individuals arrested in the July multi-agency drug seizure, Yude Saldana-Avila, age 33,  was sentenced to prison this week for 12-48 months on a category B felony charge of trafficking level I. 

Saldana-avila pleaded guilty to the charge earlier this year, admitting to possession of 4-14 grams of cocaine, a schedule one controlled substance. 

The other two individuals in the case have not been sentenced, although 23-year-old Ruben Santillan Barrera pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance level II, category B felonies which initiate a mandatory prison sentence of up to 15 years on each count, and a mandatory fine up to $100,000. Santillan Barrera is scheduled to be sentenced on October 22. 

Gustavo Carrillo is facing two category A felony trafficking charges with possible life sentences and has not completed an arraignment hearing, with multiple court hearings resulting in continuances to contemplate plea negotiations.

In Saldana-Avila’s sentencing hearing, her attorney Alternate Public Defender Maureen McQuillan asked the court to impose a minimum sentence in the matter of 12 months in prison, stating that her client has a stable work history and not much criminal history. McQuillan said Saldana-Avila intends to use the mandatory prison time productively, with the intent to earn her adult diploma while incarcerated. 

Deputy District Attorney Anthony Gordon asked the court to impose a sentence of 28-72 months in prison, the maximum penalty in the category B felony charge, stating that Saldana-Avila had thus far failed to take responsibility for the drugs that were found at the residence where she, Gustavo Carrillo and their children resided. 

In Saldana-Avila’s allocution statement to the court, she said she just wants to take responsibility for the charge and serve her time so she can return to caring for her children, currently under the care of her family as both parents are incarcerated. 

“I have lived here for 17 years in the United States and have always tried to stay on the right track to avoid any issues with the government,” said Saldana-Avila, translated from spanish to the court by an appointed translator. “I would like to have this behind me and have my life back and be with my children and forget all of this.” 

Saldana-Avila was ordered to pay a $153 DNA collection and analysis fee, $25 administrative assessment fee, $60 forensic fee, $500 public defender fee and a $5,000 fine in addition to the 12-48 prison sentence for which she was given credit for time served of 111 days. 

In a separate court case, Lorna Louise Elms, age 30, was given the opportunity to complete a 3-year sentence of probation with drug court as a stipulation of probation to avoid a category E felony conviction of possession of a controlled substance. 

Elms was originally charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, with a possible 1-4 year prison sentence in each count, a charge for which probation is mandatory in most instances. The state dismissed one count in court as part of the plea negotiations. 

Elms pleaded guilty to the remaining count in an arraignment hearing in Sixth Judicial District Court on Wednesday and filed an application for diversion which was granted by the court, giving her the opportunity to complete a period of supervision with a substance treatment program to avoid a felony conviction on her record. 

In a statement to the court, Elms said that the last time she was in jail, she almost lost everything she had worked for in her life including her family and kids, stating that she fully wants the opportunity to maintain sobriety and earn back the trust of her family.