37 individuals charged in methamphetamine drug take down
DENVER — Thirty-seven individuals have been charged with federal crimes related to methamphetamine drug trafficking in two separate indictments unsealed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
These charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, District of Colorado; Special Agent in Charge William T. McDermott, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Colorado State Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman.
The Denver OCDETF Strike Force Group led the May 9 operation, which successfully arrested 25 individuals. Others are presently at large. The Strike Force includes investigators from the following agencies: Colorado State Attorney General’s Office; DEA; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO); FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and U.S. Marshals Service; this Strike Force was supported by the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation. Other law enforcement agencies assisted in making these arrests.
The indictments were issued by a federal grand jury on April 19 and May 2, 2018, and unsealed Wednesday as arrest warrants were served throughout the metro Denver area, as well as in California and Arizona.
As described in two separate indictments, the drug conspiracy operated within the State of Colorado from dates spanning back as far as July 1, 2015. Separate charges against individual defendants include conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, knowingly or intentionally distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, intentionally using a communications device in causing or facilitating the commission of a drug felony, and money laundering.
“Meth ravages and ruins the precious lives of too many Coloradans,” said U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. “Taking out 37 dealers, taking this kind of weight out of our suffering communities, is a major public safety victory. And it’s one we only got because of the exceptional work and partnership we have with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, the DEA, and many other law enforcement agencies.”
“Today’s bust is another indication that the profitability of dealing drugs in the U.S. invites cartels and criminals into our communities,” said Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman. “Along with its law enforcement partners, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office will keep the heat on drug traffickers doing business in our state. But until we effectively reduce demand for these potent and deadly drugs, we will be fighting symptoms and consequences rather than stopping the problem.”
“With the methamphetamine, heroin and the opioid epidemic ravaging the country, this unified effort reflects the partnerships between federal, state, and local law enforcement in combating this issue to protect the citizens of Colorado,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge William T. McDermott. “The arrests of these 37 defendants will disrupt the flow of drugs into Colorado, California and Arizona. The Denver OCDETF Strike Force will continue its mission in targeting, disrupting and dismantling the highest levels of transnational criminal organizations.”
“This case is one of many examples of how local, state and federal partners work together to combat drug crimes,” said ATF Denver Special Agent in Charge Debbie Livingston. “Supporting our federal, state and local partners is always a priority for ATF.”
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Podolak, District of Colorado.
The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.