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Greeley man with violent, criminal past gets 128 years for threatening to shoot Evans officers during drug bust

Posted on 09/27/2019
Leroy Garcia-Cerda MugshotGREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – A Greeley man will spend more than a century behind bars for being a habitual, violent offender in Weld County.

In August, 31-year-old Leroy Garcia-Cerda Jr. was convicted of two counts of First Degree Assault on a Peace Officer, one count of Second Degree Assault on a Peace Officer, three counts of class one Drug Felony Special Offender for possessing drugs while carrying a gun, and one count of Resisting Arrest.

Additionally, he pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender, one count of Violation of a Protection Order and one count of Carrying a Concealed Weapon.

In April of 2018, Evans officers responded to a report of a drug deal at a hotel.

During the initial investigation, officers approached one of the hotel rooms where they encountered Garcia-Cerda who had a gun in his waistband.

He proceeded to fight with officers and threatened to shoot them while reaching for his gun.

However, police were able to arrest him before that happened and no one was injured.

“If it wasn’t for these veteran police officers and their swift responses, both of them would have been killed that day,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Pirraglia said. “The impact that this incident has had on these officers has been detrimental, both physically and emotionally. I see the goosebumps on them when they go back and review body camera footage from that night.”

Thursday morning, the Court determined Garcia-Cerda was a habitual offender because of his extensive criminal history.

With the additional habitual counts, under Colorado law, the judge had to impose a sentence that is three times the high end of the presumptive range.

Thus, the judge imposed a 48 year sentence for each count of the First Degree Assault on a Peace Officer and ordered the sentences to run consecutive to one another.

As for the three counts of DF1 Special Offender charges, the judge imposed a 32 year sentence and ordered this to also be served consecutively to the two 48 year sentences for the First Degree Assault charges.

In total, the defendant will serve 128 years in DOC.

“This defendant has committed a very serious crime that he needs to be held accountable for,” Weld District Judge Thomas Quammen said during Thursday’s hearing. “He has a history of committing very serious crimes in this community, and this was also another extremely serious offense. It could have ended a lot worse.”

Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Pirraglia and Deputy District Attorney Michael Ringle prosecuted this case.