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Press Release

Three Men Arrested For Trafficking Heroin And Methamphetamine To Rocky Ford, Colorado

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

DENVER – Three men were arrested yesterday following a controlled delivery of heroin and methamphetamine to a house in Rocky Ford, Colorado, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Southern Colorado law enforcement announced.  The three men who were arrested appeared this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Denver, where they were advised of their rights and the charges pending against them.  All three were remanded pending a detention and preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Boyd N. Boland.

Arrested by DEA agents and task force officers were Raymond Abeyta, age 34, Frank Gonzales, age 41, and Eric Garcia, Jr., age 29, all of Rocky Ford, Colorado.  The arrest was based on a Criminal Complaint signed by a U.S. Magistrate Judge and obtained today.

According to the affidavit in support of the Criminal Complaint, on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, Arizona Department of Public Safety stopped a 2009 Nissan Maxima as it was traveling east on I-40 in Flagstaff, Arizona.  A search of the vehicle was initiated. Two packages of heroin, weighing approximately 4.75 pounds were found in the padding of the rear seat back rests.  Officers also recovered 3 pounds of methamphetamine which was concealed behind the glove compartment.  Authorities learned that the drugs were destined for an address in Rocky Ford, Colorado.  The driver had made one previous delivery of drugs three weeks prior.

The driver of the Nissan cooperated with authorities.  The DEA Flagstaff Post of Duty worked with the DEA Colorado Springs Resident Office to establish a controlled delivery of the heroin and methamphetamine.  On Thursday, January 23rd, 2014, the driver delivered the drugs to the Rocky Ford address.  Immediately after the delivery was made, a federal search warrant was executed and three defendants were arrested.  Seized from the residence was the heroin and methamphetamine, as well as approximately $100,000 in U.S. currency and a money counter.

All three defendants face one count of conspiracy to possess heroin, a Schedule I Controlled Substance, with intent to distribute over 1 kilogram.  If convicted on that count, each defendant faces not less than 10 years, and not more than life in federal prison, as well as up to a $10,000,000 fine.  The three defendants also face one count of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine, a Schedule II Controlled Substance, with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more.  If convicted, all three face not less than 10 years, and not more than life in federal prison, as well as up to a $10,000,000 fine.

This investigation is being conducted by the DEA Colorado Springs Resident Office, the DEA Flagstaff Post of Duty, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Rocky Ford Police Department, and the Otero County Sheriff’s Office.  The Southern Colorado Drug Task Force, which participated in this investigation, includes:  DEA, FBI, and HSI/ICE, Colorado Springs Police Department, Pueblo Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, and HIDTA.

The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley Giles.

A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document.  Anyone accused of committing a felony violation of federal law has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.

The charges in the Complaint are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated June 22, 2015