DEC 10 (DENVER) – Barbra M. Roach, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Denver Field Division, Scott W. Storey, District Attorney for the Colorado First Judicial District, and Ted Mink, Sheriff of Jefferson County, Colorado announce the dismantlement of an interstate methamphetamine and cocaine smuggling enterprise operating in Colorado, Arizona, and California.
On November 30, 2012, a Jefferson County grand jury returned a 49-count indictment naming 13 men and three women. They are accused of violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA), distribution of a controlled substance, conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, and money laundering. Eleven of the sixteen defendants have been arrested and are in custody.
The indictment and arrests announced today are the culmination of a six month collaborative investigation conducted by the West Metro Drug Task Force, the Denver OCDETF Strike Force, and the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Beginning in May 2012, investigators identified suspected drug traffickers dealing cocaine in Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Edgewater, Aurora, and Denver, Colorado. The investigation led them to alleged interstate drug smuggling organizations moving cocaine to Colorado from California and methamphetamine from Arizona to Colorado.
In June 2012, investigators seized approximately $21,500 in bulk currency drug proceeds in a traffic stop on I-70 west in Summit County, Colorado. The drug proceeds are believed have resulted from the sale of methamphetamine in Lakewood by one of the defendants, and were being smuggled to a methamphetamine source of supply in Arizona.
In September 2012, investigators seized approximately two kilograms of cocaine from a defendant and thwarted an illicit transaction in Denver.
In October 2012, investigators seized approximately 12 pounds of methamphetamine transported from Arizona to Wheat Ridge.
On December 6, 2012, investigators conducted coordinated enforcement operations in Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Edgewater, Aurora, and Denver, Colorado, as well as Tucson, Arizona and San Bernardino, California to arrest defendants charged in the indictment and conduct search warrants at properties of interest identified in the investigation.
“The Jefferson County West Metro Drug Task Force and the Denver OCDETF Strike Force did an excellent job in breaking up this cocaine trafficking ring,” said District Attorney Scott Storey. “Although this will have a significant impact on the availability of narcotics in our community, drug trafficking into our state and throughout the United States continues to be a major problem. We will continue to remain vigilant in our attempts to stop the flow of narcotics into Colorado.”
“These defendants attempted to evade law enforcement by transporting their drugs in concealed compartments of their vehicles. But the coordinated investigative efforts of federal, state, and local officers have proven that the cunning and greed of drug traffickers is no match for the dedication and commitment of the law enforcement officers who successfully dismantled this significant organization,” said Special Agent in Charge Barbra M. Roach of the DEA Denver Field Division.
“This is another instance where multi-state cooperation and collaboration paid dividends in combating drug trafficking in our nation,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink.
The Denver OCDETF Strike Force is a federal task force comprised of Special Agents and Task Force Officers from DEA, FBI, HSI, IRS-CID, Aurora Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Denver Police Department, Fort Collins Police Services, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lakewood Police Department.
The West Metro Drug Task Force is comprised of investigators from the Arvada Police Department, Golden Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Lakewood Police Department, and Wheat Ridge Police Department.