United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that James Michael Papazian, 31, of West Hills, California, was sentenced today to 292 months’ (24.3 years) for conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of actual or pure methamphetamine. Following his prison term, Papazian will serve five years on supervised release. Chief United States District Court Judge John M. Gerrard presided over this case.
During the summer of 2017, Papazian was serving a sentence at the Nebraska Department of Corrections for burglary and he was allowed to be on work release. Papazian would leave the prison to work and would return to the prison after completing his shift. During that time, Papazian conspired to sell methamphetamine to others, both inside and outside of the prison. Papazian used two cell phones in committing his offense that he was not permitted to have. He kept one phone at work. The other phone he smuggled into the prison and kept hidden within the work release housing facility. In determining Papazian’s sentence, Judge Gerrard found that after Papazian was indicted, Papazian had obstructed justice by attempting to tamper with several witnesses during the pendency of his case.
This case was investigated by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Drug Task Force.