In November of 2023, El Paso County witnessed a landmark verdict after a jury found 28-year-old Katariina Gibson guilty of Proximate Cause of Death by Unlawful Distribution, C.R.S. 18-18-405, Drug Felony 1; and Introducing Contraband in the 2nd Degree, C.R.S. 18-8-204, Felony 6.
Recently, on January 31, Katariina Gibson was sentenced to 28 years in prison for Proximate Cause of Death by Unlawful Distribution, C.R.S. 18-18-405, Drug Felony 1, and 18 months in prison for the charge of Introducing Contraband in the 2nd Degree, C.R.S. 18-8-204, Felony 6.
Gibson received the maximum sentencing for both charges.
“I hope this sentencing is a resounding wake-up call to those who are thinking of smuggling drugs into the El Paso County Jail,” said Sheriff Joe Roybal. “If you chose to forgo our drug amnesty program and bring illicit drugs and contraband into my facility, you will be held accountable. I thank my staff who work diligently to investigate all crimes against citizens in our community, whether in the jail or on our streets. Additionally, I thank District Attorney Michael Allen for his partnership and strong commitment to restoring victims by holding criminals accountable in the 4th Judicial District of Colorado.”
The history of this case includes:
An investigation launched by El Paso County Sheriff Joseph Roybal linked Gibson to the death of 44-year-old Renee Lowrance on January 20, 2023. Lowrance was found unresponsive in her assigned cell at the El Paso County Jail and her death was determined to have been caused by fentanyl intoxication. Sheriff Roybal coordinated the efforts of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Intelligence Unit, with the Colorado Springs Police Department Vice, narcotics, and intelligence unit to identify the fentanyl supplier.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office collaborated with District Attorney Michael Allen and the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The impact and precedent of this historic case, from the investigation to the guilty verdict concluding with the maximum sentencing, exemplifies the high standards and dedication both Sheriff Roybal and District Attorney Allen hold for their offices.
Sheriff Roybal is unwavering in his commitment to upholding the constitutional rights of the citizens of the Pikes Peak region, including those being held in the El Paso County Jail.