Pair in drug-trafficking ring each get 22 years in prison

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By AJ Vicens

Two of three men prosecuted by the Jefferson County district attorney’s office for drug trafficking were sentenced to 22 years in prison Aug 11.

Jose Martinez-Soto, 32, and Luis Arrendondo-Soto, 25, were each given a 22-year sentence for their roles in a drug-trafficking ring that moved large amounts of heroin and cocaine. A third man, Jesus Espinoza-Verdugo, 23, was sentenced to 11 years in prison July 27.

The three men were in the country illegally and were operating the drug ring out of a Denver house, according to an investigation run by the West Metro Drug Task Force. When investigators raided the home, they found 1,500 grams of pure, uncut heroin worth an estimated $48,000; 180 grams of cocaine; $6,000 in U.S. currency; and two handguns.

Investigators said the haul was likely just one month’s worth of drugs, and was part of an ongoing smuggling operation that funneled drugs from Mexico into the U.S. through Phoenix and Denver.

Jeffco DA Scott Storey praised the work of the West Metro Drug Task Force but said there’s still a large amount of drugs coming into the U.S.

All three men will be deported back to Mexico after their prison sentences.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.