News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2008
Contact: Mike Turner
Number: 303-705-7446

Colorado Springs Methamphetamine Organization Dismantled Group Allegedly Distributed 40 Pounds of Meth Per Month

APR 25 -- (Colorado Springs, CO) - Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Rocky Mountain Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced today the conclusion of a major drug investigation by his Colorado Springs office that resulted in several significant methamphetamine, cash and weapon seizures.

In January 2008, the Southern Colorado Drug Task Force led by the DEA and comprised of investigators from the Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, and the Pueblo Police Department, initiated an investigation targeting a multi-state methamphetamine trafficking organization, having ties to California and Arizona.

According to information developed during the investigation, the organization was responsible for the importation of approximately 40 pounds of methamphetamine per month from Mexico. Agents estimated this amount of methamphetamine, which was being sold on a monthly basis, to be valued at $800,000 wholesale and more than $2 million at the street distribution level.

On March 25, 2008, agents provided information to the Grand Junction Resident Office of the DEA which resulted in the seizure of 8 pounds of methamphetamine and the arrest of Alonso Verdugo, who was identified as a transporter for the organization. As a result of the arrest of Verdugo, DEA executed a search warrant in Colorado Springs and arrested the primary target of the investigation, Cesar Olivas-Cervantes. At that time, agents seized an additional 10 pounds of methamphetamine, two handguns and $41,275 cash. Olivas-Cervantes was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, more than 1,000 grams, Special Offender and Conspiracy to Distribute more than 1,000 grams of a Controlled Substance. He is being held at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center.

Finally, on April 14, 2008, as part of this ongoing investigation, Jorge Alejandro Rios-Ruiz was arrested and agents seized an additional pound of methamphetamine and $23,600 cash. Rios-Ruiz is also being held at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center. Both Olivas-Cervantes and Rios-Ruiz are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 15, 2008 in Division 4 of El Paso County District Court.

This investigation is being prosecuted by the 4th Judicial District’s Office of the District Attorney.