Major Cocaine Distribution Organization Dismantled in Denver
June 26 (Denver) – This morning seven people were arrested without incident on drug trafficking charges as part of an operation known as “La Gorda,” the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Front Range Task Force, and the North Metro Drug Task Force announced today.
Last week a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging 12 people with drug trafficking charges, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and money laundering conspiracy. Of the 12 indicted, seven were arrested today. Some of the defendants arrested this morning will appear in U.S. District Court in Denver this afternoon to be advised of the charges pending against them.
Those already in custody include:
All defendants face conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. If convicted, they each face not less than 10 years, and up to life in federal prison, as well as a $10,000,000 fine. Some are charged with money laundering conspiracy. If convicted of money laundering conspiracy they face not more than 20 years imprisonment and not more than a $500,000 fine.
In addition, the indictment includes an asset forfeiture allegation. According to the indictment, upon conviction of the charged violations the defendants lose the right, title and interest in all property constituting and derived from any proceeds obtained directly and indirectly as a result of their drug crimes. Items in the forfeiture allegation include real property located in Bennett, Colorado, $90,880 in cash, a 1992 Black Mercedes Benz Sedan, a 2002 Blue Chevrolet Silverado 1500, a 2000 Van TL trailer, and a 2001 Green Chevrolet Silverado 1500.
This case was investigated by the North Metro Drug Task Force and the Front Range Task Force. The North Metro Drug Task Force is comprised of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the Brighton Police Department, the Broomfield Police Department, the Commerce City Police Department, the Federal Heights Police Department, the Northglenn Police Department, the Thornton Police Department, and the Westminster Police Department.
The Front Range Task Force is comprised of the DEA, Denver Police Department, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Aurora Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and the Colorado National Guard.
Agencies that assisted in this morning’s arrests include: the Front Range Task Force (FRTF), North Metro Drug Task Force (NMDTF), Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, United States Marshals Service, Colorado Violent Offender Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Fugitive Operations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and DEA Cheyenne.
The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Korver.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.