HOLBROOK—Local authorities interdicted another drug selling operation involving methamphetamine brought from the Valley and sold in Navajo and Apache counties.
Chad Webster, 35, who used to work in Show Low, was sentenced in the Navajo County Superior Court for his role in the meth-selling criminal enterprise.
The case is eerily similar to the well-publicized drug ring activity that resulted in the shooting death of Show Low Police Officer Darrin Reed in November, 2016. In that case, seven persons, mostly local residents, hooked-up with a meth dealer in the Valley and sold the drug around the Mountain, “from Concho to Lakeside,” said the prosecuting attorney at the time.
The Webster case involved an acquaintance of his, one Angel Omar Martinez-Sanchez, also 35, whom Webster met about 10 years ago when they both worked for an auto-salvage yard in Show Low. According to court records, Sanchez would bring from the Valley a staggering quantity of meth and Webster would sell it.
During Webster’s sentencing hearing, he told the judge that beginning in around 2017, Webster would sell four to eight ounces of meth every other day. The street value of an ounce of meth is estimated to be around $2,000. For his trouble, Webster would make up to $1,000 per week, sometimes more, he said.
Details about his apprehension are sketchy, probably deliberately so, but sometime around the Fourth of July holiday last year, Webster was sitting in a parked car which had been given to him by Sanchez. An officer pulled up saying something about a report of a suspicious vehicle and ultimately found an ounce of meth in Webster’s possession.
At the time, Webster was on probation for a 2015 charge of misconduct with a weapon out of Navajo County. He cut a deal with the state and on the drug charge, pleaded guilty to participating in a criminal syndicate, a Class 2 felony. On August 8, in the Navajo County Superior Court, Webster was sentenced to five years of intensive probation and 12 months in jail. If he violates his probation, he could go to prison for up to 12.5 years.
Martinez-Sanchez was ultimately charged with a number of felonies related to the drug ring and in July 2019, pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to sell drugs, also a Class 2 felony. Martinez-Sanchez didn’t get off lightly — he is serving an eight year prison sentence for his involvement.