News Release
March 16, 2006

Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring Destroyed by DEA
Over 30 people arrested; Guns seized

photo - gun, cash & drugsMAR 16 -- Grand Junction, Colorado – Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge of the Rocky Mountain Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey announced today that a major methamphetamine trafficking organization has been dismantled as a result of an intensive investigation headed by the DEA Western Colorado Drug Task Force. Investigation into this organization’s methamphetamine trafficking activities uncovered distribution efforts bringing pound quantities of methamphetamine into Mesa County from Arizona and Colorado Springs on a weekly basis. Over 30 suspects have been arrested to date, numerous weapons seized, and more arrests are anticipated pending ongoing investigation.

photo - gun, bullets, clipThe primary target in this investigation, Stephen Richard Parsons, DOB 3/19/61 was arrested on March 15, 2006. During the course of this investigation, eight additional suspects, Ashley King, DOB 7/29/82, Jacquelyn Truscott, DOB 5/22/77, Jennifer Smith, DOB 4/02/70, Eric Vasquez, DOB3/26/70, Crystal Plumlee, DOB 9/25/85, Eric Redman, DOB 4/21/76, Tammy Bauer, DOB 6/1/72 and Andrew Montoya, DOB 6/16/85, were arrested. Over 20 additional arrests were made during the course of the investigation through contact of subjects who had outstanding warrants or incurred new charges due to committing unlawful acts at the time of their arrests.

SAC Jeffrey D. Sweetin said, “The Grand Junction community can sleep better knowing that the arrest of these individuals will result in a reduced amount of methamphetamine distributed in the area.” Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey agreed, “This investigation will have a significant impact on reducing the amount of methamphetamine distribution coming into our area. Mesa County is a much safer community due to the apprehension of the suspects involved in this particular drug trafficking organization.”

Collaborative effort of local law enforcement, statewide and national enforcement levels proved to be successful in this investigation. Agencies involved include the DEA Western Colorado Drug Task Force, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Mesa County District Attorney’s Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Grand Junction Police Department, US Attorney’s Office, Fruita Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and the Debeque Marshal’s Office. Mesa County Commissioner, Janet Rowland, emphasized, “Over 30 people were arrested as a result of their tireless efforts which will greatly limit the availability of methamphetamine in our community. This is a GREAT example of what true collaboration can accomplish.” Other primary law enforcement agencies significantly involved in the investigation include Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado Springs DEA, Colorado State Patrol – Colorado Springs, and the Colorado Springs District Attorney’s Office in addition to valuable assistance from the Phoenix, Arizona DEA and Phoenix Police Department.

For additional information, please contact Mesa County Public Information Officer Susan Redmond at (970) 244-3929 or DEA Denver Public Information Officer Suzanne Halonen at (303) 705-7351.

seized drugs

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