64 people indicted in massive Colorado drug ring bust – Broomfield Enterprise


A state, federal and local investigation has busted a Colorado drug and money laundering ring with ties to Mexico and 64 people have been indicted by a state grand jury. Close to $1 million has been seized as part of the investigation.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Arvada police and the Adams County District Attorney Office worked with Colorado Attorney General’s Office in the case which began in March of 2019, said Attorney General Phil Weiser in a Friday virtual news conference.

Investigators uncovered a thriving illegal drug market, “including heroin and counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl,” authorities said.

“Colorado communities and families have suffered greatly from the opioid epidemic—and that impact is getting worse during this pandemic. That’s why addressing this crisis is a top priority for our office,” Weiser said. “By holding accountable the high-level organizers of this criminal enterprise and halting the spread of dangerous drugs, we can help save lives in Colorado. This effort is an excellent example of what we accomplish through ongoing collaboration in our state.”

The investigation uncovered a money-laundering operation that trafficked drug proceeds through a variety of wire transfers and “bulk” cash transports to Mexico, authorities said. Drug cells in Colorado were operating in the Denver area, including Adams County, and in Colorado Springs.

Investigators recovered and seized:

  • 77,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills, with fentanyl, worth about $2 million
  • 60 pounds of heroin
  • Almost 15 pounds of cocaine
  • Twelve firearms
  • $931,000 in cash

A recent increase in drug overdose deaths in Colorado and across the country can be traced to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, according to authorities. Drug use has spiked during the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ  MetroWest Business Digest for June 5, 2019 - News - Marlborough Enterprise - Marlborough, MA - Wicked Local Marlborough

In Denver alone, there were 350 drug overdose deaths between Jan. 1, 2020, and Nov. 30, said Deanne Reuter, special agent in charge with the DEA, at the news conference.

In the past 20 years in Colorado, nearly 5,000 Coloradans died from a prescription opioid overdose, according to a news release. More than 900 of those deaths were due to synthetic opioids that included fentanyl. That number is rising sharply, from 49 deaths in 2016 to 220 in 2019, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The counterfeit oxycodone pills, containing fentanyl, are produced in Mexico and are known here as M30s, Reuter said. One-in-four of the pills sold in Colorado contain what could be a lethal dose of Fentanyl. The dangerous pills sell for about $25 on the streets.

From Oct. 22, 2019, to Feb. 11, 2021, the Colorado Statewide Grand Jury returned indictments which included multiple alleged violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act and the Colorado Controlled Substances Act, Weiser said. Twelve defendants have been indicted on COCCA charges.

“Whenever we take drugs off of our streets, we make our community a safer place in which to live,” said Adams County District Attorney Brian Mason. “This impressive collaboration between law enforcement agencies is a true success story for making our entire community safer.”



READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here