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Drug Enforcement Administration

October 07, 2020

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Twenty-Three indicted in large-scale heroin ring

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn alongside the Denver Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration today announced that 23 individuals have been indicted with 37 counts for their role in running a large-scale, Denver-based heroin trafficking organization.  

According to information contained in the indictment as well as information from detention hearings, defendants Azusena Maribel Sierra and her husband Juan Antonio Amaya-Nunez were at the center of the organization. Sierra was the heroin dispatcher and money collector who, on a daily basis, received calls and texts from dozens of street-level customers. Sierra took heroin orders, dispatched multiple runners to meet with, make deliveries to, and collect money from customers, and collected money at the end of the day. The organization distributed approximately 1 kilogram of heroin every week.

Following an investigation that was initiated in September 2019, agents and officers seized approximately 33 kilograms of heroin, approximately $100,000 in cash, and two firearms.

The  defendants face charges including conspiracy to distribute heroin, money laundering, transporting heroin in aid of racketeering, and using telephones in connection with drug trafficking. 

Of those indicted, 14 defendants have been arrested and have made their initial appearances in U.S. District Court where they were advised of their rights and the charges pending against them.  Nine other defendants are pending arrest and are considered fugitives.

“Taking down an organization like this and removing a pipeline of this magnitude can only be accomplished with our law enforcement partners,” said Deanne Reuter, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Denver Field Division. “As long as this poison continues to wreak havoc in our communities the DEA will find those responsible and hold them to account.”

 “Thanks to the great work of the DEA and our team, we’ve dismantled a significant drug trafficking organization in the metro-area,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “While others may seek to fill the newly created vacuum, they are notice that we will come for them with the same zeal that we pursued these defendants.”

 This prosecution is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program.  The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

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