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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2005

19 Arrested in Joint Drug Operation

MAY 6-- Ft. Collins- Nineteen people have been arrested for their involvement in the distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, MDMA (Ecstasy), marijuana, and oxycodone (OxyContin) in Fort Collins, Colorado announced Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Rocky Mountain Division along with Craig Dodd, Commander Larimer County Drug Task Force (LCDTF) and Clifford Riedel, Assistant District Attorney, 8 th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

The joint operation began in November of 2004 with an idea to launch a team of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers to fight drug trafficking in Larimer County. In January 2005, the Larimer County Drug Task Force and DEA’s Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) coalesced into one team to confront drug trafficking in Larimer County. DEA’s MET Team coordinated with the LCDTF and began targeting drug distribution organizations operating in Fort Collins. The LCDTF is comprised of representatives from the Colorado State University Police Department, Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Loveland Police Department, and the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office.

From January 2005 through April 2005, nineteen individuals were charged in the 8 th Judicial District with drug crimes, which if convicted carry prison sentences ranging from 2 to 24 years depending on felony class.

“Investigations like this can have a profound impact on quality of life here in Colorado,” said Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Rocky Mountain Division Jeffery D. Sweetin. “This is a good example of the effectiveness we have when we partner in drug law enforcement. To have long-lasting success in ridding drugs from our neighborhoods, our law enforcement efforts need to be combined with input from those communities affected by drug abuse and crime.”

During the course of the four-month investigation, the DEA Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) along with the Larimer County Drug Task Force (LCDTF) seized 7.9 pounds of cocaine, 3.1 pounds of methamphetamine, 3/4 pound of heroin, MDMA (Ecstasy) tablets and oxycodone (OxyContin) tablets. Ten handguns, two marijuana cultivation operations (73 plants) and a non-operational methamphetamine lab were also seized.

LCDTF Commander Dodd stated that "Through the pooling of both federal and local resources we substantially impacted the flow of illegal drugs in and out of Larimer County. One offender commented: the availability of methamphetamine was "scarce and hard to find" speaking of their ability to obtain the drug. It should be perfectly clear to drug offenders in Larimer County that we are paying attention to them and addressing there impact in our community."

“The joint operation of the Larimer County Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Mobile Enforcement Team was a very efficient and effective use of limited law enforcement resources. Joint operations such as this demonstrate not only the reach of the illegal drug problem but the need to take a unified approach in dealing with the problem,” stated Assistant District Attorney Clifford Reidel.

Those being charged by the Colorado 8 th Judicial District District Attorney’s Office are:

Christopher Atkins; age 19, of Deadwood, South Dakota; charged with money laundering and conspiracy to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance.

Kimberly Bader; age 21, of Ft. Collins, charged with cultivation of marijuana.

Brian Birely; age 23, of Denver, charged with distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance.

Robert Black; age 20, of Denver, charged with distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance (5 counts), possession of a Schedule II controlled substance (2 counts), and conspiracy to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance.

William Budd; age 25, of Ft. Collins, charged with cultivation of marijuana.

Kurtis Coffee; age 34, of Loveland, charged with distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance (three counts).

Danny Craig; age 40, of Ft. Collins, charged with manufacture of a Schedule II controlled substance.

Karen Devore; age 34, of Ft. Collins, charged with distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance (four counts).

Andrew Fast; age 27, of Ft. Collins, charged with cultivation of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Francisco Galvan-Manrriquez; age 21, of Ft. Collins, charged with distribution of a Schedule I and Schedule II controlled substance, special offender.

Travis Giesking; age 27, of Ft. Collins, charged with cultivation of marijuana, special offender.

Darrick Heimann; age 37, of Ft. Collins, charged with manufacture of a Schedule II controlled substance.

Natnael Kebede; age 20, of Ft. Collins, charged with distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance (3 counts) and possession with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance.

Tana Klinker; age 38, of Loveland, charged with distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance (3 counts) and habitual offender (3 counts).

James Ladd; age 57, of Loveland, charged with distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance.

Michael Lovas; age 27, of Ft. Collins, charged cultivation of marijuana, special offender.

Alex Romero; age 19, of Deadwood, South Dakota, charged with money laundering and conspiracy to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance.

Jeffrey Sullivan; age 29, of Ft. Collins, charged with cultivation of marijuana, special offender.

Jose Trevizo; age 23, of Denver, charged with distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance.

The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. For further information, contact the Larimer County Drug Task Force Commander Craig Dodd at (970) 416-2587, Larimer County District Attorney’s Office Public Information Officer Linda Jensen at (970) 498-7206, or DEA Rocky Mountain Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ralph Partridge at (303) 705-7312.

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