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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Daniel Reuter
303-705-7384

Operation Crackdown Leads to 17 Arrests in Colorado

photos of seized cocainePueblo, Colorado - Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Rocky Mountain Division along with James W. Billings Jr., Pueblo Police Chief; John W. Suthers, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado; Gus Sandstrom, Colorado 10th Judicial District Attorney, and representatives from Colorado State Patrol (CSP) Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) announced that seventeen (17) people have been arrested for their involvement in distribution of crack cocaine, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine in Pueblo, Colorado.

On August 5, 2003 a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging 4 defendants with various offenses related to conspiring to distribute, distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Another federal defendant had been indicted earlier in the investigation. Sixteen (16) of the defendants are being charged locally by the Colorado 10th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

photo of seized cocaine"The DEA Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) is at work behind the scenes to support the community efforts initiated by the Integrated Drug Enforcement Assistance (IDEA) summit. Pueblo enjoys a great quality of life and we at DEA intend to keep it that way," said Special Agent in Charge Sweetin. "Investigations like this one help dismantle and disrupt a form of ongoing violence associated with addiction and the illegal drug trade here in Pueblo."

Over seventy-five (75) officers and federal agents from numerous agencies participated in this morning's enforcement action. The DEA Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) along with Pueblo Police executed two (2) search warrants at locations throughout the area earlier today. The searches produced three (3) guns, $11,000 in suspected illegal drug proceeds, and five (5) vehicles. Prior to this over 890 gross grams of crack have been purchased/seized in the case.

The DEA Mobile Enforcement Team has been deployed in Pueblo since February 2003 and provides an added boost to manpower for the Pueblo Police Department to enhance drug enforcement operations in Pueblo.

"This was a cooperative effort from beginning to end. It was managed here by the DEA and the Pueblo Police Department. I'd like to thank the men and women who investigated these drug traffickers. Successful investigations always come down to personal qualities like ingenuity, hard work, and perseverance," said Chief Billings. "In the end, Pueblo will be a safer place due to the efforts behind Operation Crack Down."

United States Attorney John Suthers praised the Pueblo community for coming together to combat illegal drug distribution. "Pueblo's city leaders, working with the community and law enforcement have taken an important step towards making the city safer," United States Attorney John Suthers said. "Thanks to the work of the DEA, along with the Pueblo Police Department, 17 drug traffickers have been removed from the streets of Pueblo," Mr. Suthers said.

Those indicted by a federal grand jury on August 5, 2003 are:

JOSEPH PATRICK MONTEITH, age 25, of Pueblo
Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine; and Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine.

JEREMIAH ANTHONY LOVATO, age 25, of Pueblo
Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine; Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 5 grams or more of crack cocaine; and Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine.

DANIEL ABEYTA, age 47, of Pueblo
Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine; and Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 5 grams or more of crack cocaine.

TONY RAYMOND GUTIERREZ, age 20, of Pueblo
Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine; and Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine.

Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine carries a penalty of not more than 20 years in federal prison. Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, and Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine carries a penalty of not less than 10 years and up to life in federal prison. Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 5 grams or more of crack cocaine carries a penalty of not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years in federal prison.

Those being charged by the Colorado 10th Judicial District District Attorney's Office:

RAY MASCARENAS, DOB. 06-02-75, one count of distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine).

JOSEPH MASCARENAS, DOB. 11-11-80, 1 count of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine) &1 count of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine).

BRIAN MASSARO, DOB. 01-03-84, one (1) count of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine).

JULIAN SALAZAR, DOB. 04-06-62, one (1) count of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (crack cocaine).

WILLIAM CUMMING, DOB. 01-22-69, 2 counts of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine).

STEVEN PINO, DOB. 11-11-60, 2 counts of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine).

GLORIA ESQUIBEL, DOB. 05-31-65, 4 counts of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine).

DONNA KEEN, DOB. 10-28-56, 2 counts of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine).

BEN BAROS, DOB. 08-16-79, 1 count of possession of more than 8 ounces of marijuana with intent to distribute.

PAUL ANDRADA, DOB. 06-05-58, one (1) count of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine).

LEON GRIEGO, DOB. 08-29-76, one (1) count of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (cocaine).

SHAWN CLAY, DOB. 5-1-71, one (1) count of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine).

SARAH DERUSHE, DOB. 03-01-58, two (2) counts of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine).

KENNETH MCCLURE, DOB. 06-29-80, one (1) count of Possession of more than eight (8) ounces of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

ANDREA QUINTANA, DOB. 11-01-56, one (1) count of Distribution of a schedule II controlled substance (crack cocaine).

The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty. For further information, contact the Rocky Mountain Division DEA Public Information Officer Daniel Reuter at (303) 434-3935.

Related Links:

Cocaine

DEA's Rocky Mountain Division

 

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