Large-scale poly drug trafficking organization dismantled in Colorado
Over 50 involved with sale of oxy, meth, heroin and guns
DENVER – In December of 2018, the Longmont Department of Public Safety Special Enforcement Unit began looking into the drug distribution activities of Joshua Ward, who resided in the city of Longmont. Utilizing various law enforcement investigative techniques, Longmont SEU identified numerous subjects in the northern Colorado region who were assisting Joshua Ward in the distribution of large quantities of methamphetamine, fentanyl and prescriptions drugs.
Shortly thereafter, Longmont SEU partnered with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office in an effort to expand its investigative capabilities to combat the criminal organization throughout an area that grew to include not only the northern Colorado region but also the entirety of the Denver metropolitan and Front Range areas.
Upon joining resources, Longmont SEU, the DEA, ATF, and the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office continued investigating the criminal enterprise. During the investigation, local, state and federal law enforcement officers identified over 50 involved parties and possible co-conspirators, seized 1,472 counterfeit 30-mg oxycodone hydrochloride pills (fentanyl), 3 lbs. of methamphetamine, 1.64 lbs. of ephedrine, 288 Schedule II synthetic opioid pills, 18.7 grams of cocaine, 6.7 grams of heroin, 10 benzodiazepine pills and numerous rifles, handguns and a shotgun.
In coordination with the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, SEU and the DEA identified a vast number of co-conspirators involved in various crimes, including drug trafficking, weapons offenses and numerous violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, a class 2 felony offense with a possible penalty of 24 years. While this investigation is still not yet completed, it has already led to the arrest of more than 19 suspected members of the drug trafficking organization. Members of the DTO were charged with, among other offenses, the aforementioned drug trafficking, weapons and organized crimes offenses.
On Monday, July 1, 2019, the Longmont Department of Public Safety, Longmont SEU, Larimer County SEU, the DEA and ATF partnered with numerous local, state and federal agencies to seek out, locate and arrest those indicted. In addition, law enforcement executed search warrants in the Denver metro area and in the city of Fort Collins. Additional arrests are anticipated as this investigation continues.
Through arrests and searches, which took place on July 1, approximately 30 various types of firearms as well as various types of firearms ammunition and firearm silencers were seized. Six of the firearms recovered were AK-47 style rifles without serial numbers. These un-serialized firearms are known as “ghost guns.”
Law enforcement officials are continuing to pursue suspects and utilize investigative techniques based on evidence obtained throughout the investigation.
All defendants are presumed innocent and charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
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