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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
November 20, 2003


IMAGE OF HEROIN SEIZEDDENVER - John W. Suthers, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, and Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge of the Rocky Mountain Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, today announced that DEA agents, in conjunction with numerous other law enforcement agencies, have seized over 100 ounces (more than 2 kilograms) of heroin in Metro Denver in the past 72 hours. The heroin has been seized in two separate and unrelated cases, demonstrating a renewed interest in heroin distribution and use in Metro Denver.

On Friday, November 14, 2003 ISRAEL PACO-CARRILLO, age 29, of Denver, was arrested for possession with intent to distribute heroin after an undercover agent purchased 30 ounces of heroin in the parking lot of a restaurant on West Evans Street in Denver. The arrest follows a four month undercover operation. Over 52 ounces of heroin was seized in total during the investigation. A 9 mm semi-automatic handgun was also confiscated. Over twenty officers and federal agents from several police agencies worked on this investigation.

On Monday, November 17, 2003, DEA agents seized 70 ounces of heroin following a year-long investigation. CARLOS VARELA-JACOBO, age 30, of Aurora, was charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin. The DEA estimates that the heroin seized in this case is at least 70 percent pure.

Surveillance of VARELA-JACOBO revealed that he was in possession of a large amount of heroin. Authorities arrested the defendant after a traffic stop yesterday in Adams County. A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle VARELA-JACOBO was driving. Inside a pair of shoes hidden in the vehicle agents and officers found the heroin. Heroin was also found at two other locations after additional search warrants were executed. During the course of the one year investigation into VARELA-JACOBO, agents seized over 100 ounces of heroin.

In total, over 152 ounces of heroin have been seized in Metro Denver as a result of these two unrelated investigations. The approximate street value of the heroin is over $500,000.

The agencies involved in both investigations include: the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Denver Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division (IRS-CID), the Aurora Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

"This investigation highlights the growing trend in heroin trafficking in the Metro Denver area, especially as a distribution hub in the western United States," Special Agent in Charge Sweetin said. "Our longstanding relationship with the Denver Police Department continues to bring success to our drug investigations."

United States Attorney John Suthers said there appears to be a renewed trend towards heroin use and distribution in Metro Denver. "It certainly appears that the number of heroin related cases is on the increase," Mr. Suthers said.

PACO-CARRILLO made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Denver on Monday, November 17, 2003. He will have a detention hearing on Thursday, November 20, 2003 at 10:30 a.m. If convicted, he faces five to forty years in federal prison and/or up to a $2,000,000 fine.

VARELA-JACOBO will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Denver this afternoon. A detention hearing date and time will then be set. If convicted, he faces 10 years and up to life in federal prison, and/or up to a $4,000,000 fine.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Steinman.

The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty. A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document. Every defendant has a right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.

For additional information contact Jeffrey Dorschner with the U.S. Attorney's Office at (303)454-0243 or DEA Special Agent Daniel Reuter at the Rocky Mountain Division Office at (303) 705-7384.

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