3rd man sentenced in fatal overdose of Keizer woman, apologizes to her family

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Everton Bailey Jr.
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Article date: 
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
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A 35-year-old man described by prosecutors as a lieutenant in a four-state heroin trafficking organization was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for helping supply the drug that killed a 21-year-old Keizer woman.

Sergio Quezada Lopez, dressed in a blue and pink Multnomah County jail uniform, apologized to the family of Laurin Putnam for her 2012 overdose death and to his children and their mother in Mexico for not being able to provide for them....

Quezada Lopez is the third of seven people convicted on federal charges to be sentenced in Putnam's death. His brother, 40-year-old Gerardo Chalke Lopez, was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in prison on the same charges: conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in the death of another person and for illegal re-entry.

The brothers are required to together pay the Putnam family $1,670 in restitution.

They were prosecuted under the Len Bias law, named after a University of Maryland basketball player who died of a cocaine overdose in 1986. The law enables prosecutors to seek stiffer penalties against people involved in the distribution of a drug that leads to a fatal overdose.

Four days after Putnam was found dead in her Keizer apartment, authorities arrested at least half a dozen drug dealers ...

Putnam was a West Salem high school graduate whose addiction to painkillers from a back injury while playing softball eventually led to heroin use, prosecutors said.

Jose Aldana Soto, 33, was sentenced on April 8 to three years and 10 months in prison for his role in Putnam's death.

The remaining four defendants, Christopher Wood Jr., Rigoberto "Jose" Romo Gonzalez, Julian Hernandez Castillo and Carlos "Braulio" Acosta Mendoza, also have pleaded guilty to charges linked to her death. Their sentencings are set later this year.

Quezada Lopez has been deported to Mexico four times since 2000...

He had planned to permanently stay with his wife and two children when he returned to Mexico in 2009, but money troubles led to him come back across the border at his older brother's suggestion, according to a sentencing memo written by his attorney, Ryan Scott...

Scott had requested 10 years in prison and prosecutors asked for 17 years...

"I do sincerely wish that after you serve your time and repay your debt to society that you are able to turn your life around and lead a law-abiding life," Simon said.

After the hearing, Ron Putnam said he will return to court in May for the sentencing of the next defendant in his daughter's death.

"None of this is going to bring her back, but it's nice to see this coming to an end," he said.