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Drug Investigation Targets Prison Gang; 45 Defendants Indicted in Racketeering Case

MAY 30 (DENVER) – This morning, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), North Metro Task Force, and the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office executed eight search warrants and made numerous arrests as part of a methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking investigation that has resulted in the grand jury indictment of 45 defendants and the seizure of several pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine, numerous firearms, and the recovery of stolen vehicles. 

The nine-month investigation identified a drug trafficking organization operated by several Los Premieros Padres (LPP) prison gang members who are involved in the distribution of large amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine in the north metro area of Denver, Colorado.  In addition, this organization stole motor vehicles and committed burglaries to advance their criminal enterprise.  The indictment was returned by the grand jury on May 28.  Charges in the 230-count indictment include racketeering under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, conspiracy, various drug possession and distribution charges, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, theft, and aggravated motor vehicle theft.

To date, the investigation has resulted in 77 arrests.  In addition, significant amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine, firearms, and vehicles have been seized during this investigation.  “The dismantling of this particular dangerous and organized criminal group is a testimony to the strength of our multi-law enforcement partnerships in joining available detective resources for the protection of all our communities,” said Thornton Police Chief Randy Nelson.

“Our streets are safer tonight because this operation successfully took aim, investigated, and will ultimately prosecute a violent criminal  network plaguing the Denver metro area,” said DEA Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge Barbra Roach.

“This was a very large and dangerous drug organization,” said 17th Judicial District Attorney Dave Young.  “The Colorado Organized Crime Control Act is designed specifically to take down criminal organizations like this.  The public has a high expectation of those of us in public safety that we will pursue these criminal organizations and we have done that today.  This case will have a big impact on drug operations in the 17th Judicial District.”

“Law enforcement is at its best when we collaborate,” Young said. “I would like to thank everyone involved in this investigation, the North Metro Task Force, the DEA and the members of our office who worked so hard on this case.”

The indictment remains sealed pending the arrest of the remaining defendants.


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