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29 indicted in multi-state drug ring

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By AJ Vicens

More than two dozen people were indicted last week as part of what investigators call an international and multi-state drug transportation ring, with the West Metro Drug Task Force leading the way, according to Jeffco DA Scott Storey.

“It took a lot of resources to accomplish this. I can’t minimize that,” Storey said. “The resources that were put into (the investigation) by the West Metro Drug Task Force as well as our office were quite a bit.”

The task force is made up of law enforcement agents from various Jeffco jurisdictions, including Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood and Golden, among others. The task force combined with investigators from the DA’s office to coordinate the investigation, which included raids on reported “stash houses” around the Denver area.

The indictments allege that 29 people — three of whom are still at large — were involved in a drug distribution system that allegedly moved cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs into Colorado using “drug mules” and specially modified cars.

“Once the product had reached Colorado, the ring allegedly had a complicated system of dispatchers who arranged pick-up times and locations for interested buyers — oftentimes lower-level drug dealers themselves,” according to a statement released by the Colorado attorney general’s Office last week. Attorney General John Suthers called the bust a “significant blow to the illicit drug trade in Colorado.”

Storey said the case was taken to the state grand jury — where the attorney general’s office helped — and was then “venued” to Jefferson County. He added that two of his prosecutors and a prosecutor from the attorney general’s office have been assigned to prosecute the case.

Storey also said that his and the task force’s philosophy is to be “proactive” in attacking large drug rings that often use Colorado as a major corridor for interstate and international drug operations.

“Our philosophy now is to really target the larger drug operations, and we’re going to be doing more of that,” Storey said. “And the reason being is that, through our intel, we have discovered that there is a massive amount of drugs that are being transported from particularly Mexico, and we are a corridor for that transportation ee . They are very complex operations, they’re very sophisticated, and there’s just a lot of drugs being transported through Colorado into the United States.”

“It is a dent,” Storey said. “This is like spit in the ocean; there’s just a lot of it out there.”

Storey sought to assure Jeffco residents that he and the task force are going to go after these operations.

“We’re being very proactive, both the DA’s office and law enforcement, West Metro Drug Task Force, to really investigate and prosecute those that would distribute large amounts of narcotics into our country from outside of our country.”

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com.