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Family of victim Ashley Romero relieved after fentanyl dealer Bruce Holder receives life sentence

Family of victim in relief after fentanyl dealer receives federal life sentence
Family of victim in relief after fentanyl dealer receives federal life sentence 01:59

Standing outside of a federal courthouse on Wednesday, 13-year-old Daniel holds a photo of his late mom Ashley Romero.

"(Daniel) was a small boy when we lost Ashley," said Andrea Thomas, Ashley's mother. "That he could represent his mother, and stand tall and proud for her, and also know the magnitude of what this horrible poison can do to people."

After four and a half years, the family of Romero celebrated victory after 57-year-old Bruce Holder was sentenced to life in prison for the distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, among other drug charges. 

United States Attorney's Office District Colorado/CBS

The 32-year-old mom died after she took a pill she thought was a painkiller. Thomas said she was glad to see this chapter ending.

"These cases and hard to prosecute," she said. "I'm very happy to see justice, legal justice for my daughter and the other victims concerned. It's been a long time coming and Mr. Holder won't be able to take any more lives."

Authorities say from 2017 to 2018, Holder smuggled thousands of fentanyl-laced pills from Mexico into western Colorado, many times working with co-conspirators including his wife, children, and other family members. 

His involvement in the drug ring gave him the largest sentence ever handed down in Colorado history, for a fentanyl-related death case. 

''I hope that this case sets a precedent at state levels and federal levels to prosecute distributors that are taking lives," Thomas said. 


While it's a bittersweet moment for Romero's family, this still brings a lot of pain. Thomas said she'll keep fighting in her daughter's name. 

"I know that her story has saved many lives and we will continue to teach prevention everywhere that we can," she said. 

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