Former ‘NCO of the Month’ sentenced for selling methamphetamine

SGT Derek Calderon-Ramos being presented with an Army Achievement Medal for winning NCO of the Month in September 2014. (Facebook)

A former  ‘NCO of the Month’ at Fort Bliss has been sentenced to ten years in prison after accepting a plea deal for selling methamphetamine to undercover federal agents.

Derek Calderon, a former sergeant, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine in October 2016.

Calderon was originally arrested for selling two pounds of methamphetamine but as part of his plea deal with federal prosecutors, two additional counts of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more were dismissed.

While he may have succeeded as a soldier and NCO, his skills as a criminal were subpar at best. Calderon sold meth to an undercover agent, which he brought in his U.S. Army backpack with his name tape on it, to an undercover federal agent while he was stationed at Fort Bliss in 2016.

In addition to blatantly offering his identity and affiliation to the U.S. Army, Calderon posted a video of his drug money in the lap of his uniform on his personal Instagram account.

Screenshot of Sgt. Calderon’s Instagram video post.

In March of 2016, Calderon sold one pound of “Blue Crystal” Meth for $7,500, to the agent who traveled from Florida to Texas.

A few days later, Calderon posted a video to his Instagram account boasting about all the cash he had, saying, “This is what I’m about.” The $100 bills that he flashes in the video had serial numbers matching those the DEA agent used in the meth transaction.

Less than two weeks after that first meeting in El Paso, the agent spoke to Calderon again to arrange to have one pound of meth shipped to Broward County, Florida.

The second pound of meth was sent via the U.S. Postal Service to Florida from Phoenix. After gathering enough evidence, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Calderon in El Paso on June 27, 2016.

Calderon was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment at Fort Bliss.

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