Sixto Cotto, 60, of Jasper, received the maximum sentence possible for dealing in methamphetamine last week in a Spencer County court.
Spencer Circuit Court Judge Jon Dartt held a sentencing hearing on July 21 at which Spencer County Prosecutor Dan Wilkinson argued for the maximum sentence of 12 years. Judge Dartt issued his final decision on September 5 and sentenced Cotto to the maximum sentence of 12 years in prison at the Indiana Department of Correction. Cotto will be required to serve 75% of the sentence at the Indiana Department of Correction.
After the Court issued its sentencing order, Prosecutor Dan Wilkinson said, “I am pleased that Cotto received the maximum sentence. Those who sell and distribute methamphetamine and other dangerous drugs and especially repeat offenders deserve and should receive harsher penalties and Sixto Cotto most definitely falls into that category.”
Cotto was convicted on Wednesday, June 21 by a Spencer County jury of two counts of Dealing in Methamphetamine as Level 5 felonies and one count of Possession of Methamphetamine as a Level 6 felony. The jury of six men and six women deliberated for approximately twenty minutes following a day and a half of testimony that concluded on June 21.
Spencer County Sheriff’s Department Deputy, Kelli Reinke, arrested Cotto on February 27 this year following a month long investigation of Cotto with the cooperation of a confidential informant. Cotto was observed and recorded delivering what was later determined to be 3.26 grams of methamphetamine to the informant during a controlled buy at the Stone’s Motel parking lot in Dale on February 16th. Cotto then made a second delivery of what was later determined to be 3.19 grams of methamphetamine to the informant on February 24 at Kimball International near Santa Claus.
An arrest warrant was issued for Cotto on February 27 and he was arrested the same day by Deputy Reinke after stopping him in his vehicle on SR 162 near Santa Claus with the assistance of officers from the Santa Claus and Dale Police Departments.
Following the conviction on June 21, Spencer County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Wilkinson said, “I appreciate very much the time and effort Deputy Reinke put into this particular investigation and prosecution. Mr. Cotto is a repeat drug dealer who didn’t learn a lesson from his previous prison sentence and has continued to spread methamphetamine in our community. He deserves the stiffest penalty the law will allow.”
Cotto was previously arrested for Dealing in Methamphetamine in Spencer County on January 24, 2003 and later plead guilty to possession of 29 grams of methamphetamine within 1000 feet of David Turnham Elementary School as a Class A felony. Cotto received a sentence of 50 years in 2004 that was later reduced by the Indiana Court of Appeals to 30 years. Cotto had been released from prison only slightly more than a year prior to his arrest in this case on February 27.
Anyone with information regarding drug activity in Spencer County is encouraged to report the information anonymously through the Crime Tip Line at (800) 615-6088 or at http://spencoprosecutor.org/crime-tip-line/.