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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
April 29, 2003

DEA/Metro VNI Cooperation Leads to
Enhanced Drug Investigations

Colorado Springs - Today, Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent In Charge of the Rocky Mountain Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Luis Velez, Chief of the Colorado Springs Police Department and John W. Suthers, United States Attorney announced results of cooperative drug law enforcement efforts through the DEA Colorado Springs Drug Task Force. As the result of unprecedented cooperation between police agencies that comprise the Metro Vice and Intelligence Teams (Metro VNI) and the Colorado Springs Resident Office DEA Drug Task Force, several significant drug cases have been concluded. These significant cases have resulted in arrests of major drug violators, the seizure of thirty (30), pounds of methamphetamine, four (4) pounds of "Ice", two (2) pounds of cocaine and over $200,000 in drug money.

The DEA Colorado Springs State and Local Task Force is supervised by a Colorado Springs Police Department Group Supervisor and is comprised of members of the Colorado Springs Police Department and Special Agents of the DEA and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Metro VNI is comprised of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Colorado Springs Police Departments, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, the Teller County Sheriff's Office, the Fountain Police Department and the Colorado Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office

"Today we are witnessing the power of integrated policework. As drug organizations seek to profit from the misery of those addicted to illegal drugs, we are utilizing Federally seized assets from those same organizations to help rid our communities of violence and ruined lives," said Special Agent In Charge Sweetin. "The DEA and Metro VNI work closely to provide quality drug law enforcement that the citizens of this community expect."

Special Agent In Charge Sweetin personally delivered a check for $66, 851.26 as part of the Federal Asset sharing program to Colorado Springs Chief Velez. This check is part of a total of $154,141.16 that has been disbursed to Colorado Metro VNI since January 1, 2003 from assets seized as part of illegal drug investigations. The funds represent the quality cases and the extraordinary cooperation between the Colorado Springs Metro VNI and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Under Federal law these funds are used to facilitate ongoing investigative work such as enhancing future investigations, training, equipment and operations.

These organizations share investigators, office space and case leads in the form of a Task Force where State/Local Police are deputized as sworn Federal Task Force Officers and bring Federal resources to bear on local drug investigations. The DEA also benefits by utilizing local leads to expand criminal investigations that may dovetail into other ongoing national and international drug investigations.

"The citizens of Colorado Springs can be proud that we are initiating investigations and achieving success in drug cases that reduce the potential for violence. Sharing officers and resources with the Drug Enforcement Administration expands our efforts to protect the community," said Police Chief Velez.

For additional information contact DEA Special Agent Daniel Reuter (303)705-7384 or Colorado Springs Police Department's Public Information Officer "Skip" Arms at (719) 444-7412.


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