Adrian Montijo

Adrian Montijo

KINGMAN — How many years he would spend in prison was the primary question for a west county drug dealer who was sentenced at the Mohave County Courthouse in Kingman.

Superior Court judge Rick Lambert settled on nine years when Adrian Montijo, 21, faced a range of seven to 13 years behind bars.

About two dozen family members and others were present to show and express support for Montijo, whom they characterized as a man of good character who made youthful mistakes. Prosecutor Kellen Marlow portrayed Montijo as a pariah who preyed upon communities and their citizens, leaving immeasurable addiction and associated problems in the wake of his drug distribution in Bullhead City and beyond.

Marlow told the court that law enforcement knew Montijo to be a major dealer but that they could not build a case against him until a Nov. 16 traffic stop in Golden Valley during which 10 grams of heroin was seized. Fourteen days later, officers seized roughly three ounces of cocaine belonging to Montijo during a search of a residence in the 1800 block of East Easy Street in Fort Mohave.

Lambert declined to find that Montijo’s youth should be a mitigating factor in his sentencing decision. Lambert noted many people of Montijo’s age are starting families and businesses, building careers and serving the United States armed forces.

“Instead of doing one of those positive things, he’s dealing drugs,” Lambert said. The judge also rejected remorse as a mitigating factor, saying there was no remorse when a defendant keeps dealing drugs and ends up arrested just two weeks after he was busted the first time.

“He was a prominent dealer,” Marlow said. “I look at Mr. Montijo as someone who was dumping heroin into our community, dumping cocaine into our community.”

The sentencing hearing followed previous entry of a plea agreement convicting Montijo of two counts of possession of narcotic drugs for sale.

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