Trafficking Organization Used Juveniles to Distribute Drugs
Denver - Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Rocky Mountain Division, Bill Leone, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, and Stephen Prentup, Commander of the Boulder County Drug Task Force (BCDTF) announced the conclusion of a DEA Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) deployment in Boulder County. The eight-month investigation resulted in the arrest of 13 individuals, the seizure of 3.2 pounds of cocaine, 1.2 pounds of methamphetamine, a half pound of marijuana, 1.5 pounds of ecstasy, 2 ounces of buprenorphine (an opiate), 400 dosage units of psilocybin mushrooms, and the seizure of $7,759 in U.S. Currency and one vehicle.
DEA and the BCDTF combined forces to investigate a previously identified drug trafficking organization, headed by Donald Jason Skinner, which supplied methamphetamine and cocaine in Boulder County. The Skinner organization was largely comprised of a coalition of local drug traffickers who had formed an alliance to control the methamphetamine market in the Boulder County Area. The Skinner organization intentionally utilized juveniles as couriers and distributors of drugs to escape detection and create new markets.
“Current attitudes tend to characterize drug traffickers as harmless and misunderstood. This investigation demonstrates that this is a myth. The Skinner organization is an example of a dangerous, well-organized drug trafficking organization which intentionally used children to distribute their illegal product," said SAC Sweetin.
During the course of the investigation, two other separate drug trafficking organizations were identified, targeted, and disrupted. A cocaine and ecstasy drug trafficking organization headed by Michael R. Burleson and another methamphetamine drug trafficking organization headed by Juan P. Medina, were also identified as operating in Boulder County.
The following individuals have been charged federally with violations of Title 21 U.S.C. and face prison terms of ten years to life imprisonment and or fines up to $2 million:
DEA and the BCDTF were assisted in this investigation by the Longmont Police Department Special Enforcement Unit, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), Weld County Drug Task Force, Larimer County Drug Task Force, North Metro Drug Task Force, Boulder County District Attorneys Office, Boulder County Probation Department, and the Adams County Probation Department.
The BCDTF is comprised of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Boulder Police Department, Lafayette Police Department, Erie Police Department, University of Colorado Police Department, and Louisville Police Department.
The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty. For further information, please contact Denver Field Division Public Information Officer Special Agent Suzanne Halonen at (303) 705-7351, USAO Public Affairs Specialist Jeff Dorschner at (303) 454-0243, or Commander Stephen Prentup at (303) 441-1690.