Grand Junction – 24 September – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Dist…

Grand Junction – 24 September – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – District of Colorado United States Attorney Bill Leone, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Rocky Mountain Division Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Jeffrey D. Sweetin, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement SAC Jeffrey Copp, Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey, and Grand Junction Police Chief Greg Morrison announced the seizure of 12.5 pounds of methamphetamine and the arrest of Denver siblings in Grand Junction, Colorado on Tuesday, September 20, 2005 by the DEA Western Colorado Drug Task Force in Grand Junction. Benjamin Siguenza-Mendoza (31 years old), Ruth Siguenza-Mendoza (27 years old), and Maria Del Rosario Garcia Diaz were arrested pursuant to the delivery of 12 pounds of methamphetamine to undercover personnel. Also present at the time of arrest was a three-year old girl. Investigators determined that the meth had originated in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and in the early morning on Wednesday, a search warrant was served by the DEA Western Colorado Drug Task Force and the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team. An additional half pound of methamphetamine was seized at the residence.

“This investigation is noteworthy because the meth was intended to supply local dealers and meth users in Grand Junction. A 12 pound meth seizure is extremely significant under any circumstances, it is all the more so, when it was destined for the Grand Junction community.” remarked SAC Jeffrey D. Sweetin.

On September 20, 2005, undercover personnel negotiated to buy 15 pounds of “ice” methamphetamine from Benjamin Siguenza-Mendoza and Ruth Siguenza-Mendoza. At a pre-arranged location, undercover personnel met with Benjamin Siguenza-Mendoza, Ruth Siguenza-Mendoza, and Maria Del Rosario Garcia Diaz. At the meeting, Benjamin Siguenza-Mendoza told the undercover personnel that they had only brought nine pounds of methamphetamine. The undercover personnel agreed to buy the nine pounds of meth for $76,500. Shortly thereafter, the defendants were placed under arrest without incident. In the search incident to arrest, Task Force Agents located “ice” methamphetamine and packaging totaling 12 pounds concealed in a gym bag. Inside the gym bag was a child’s pencil box containing methamphetamine. DEA Laboratories classify methamphetamine as “ice” when the purity is over 90%.

Task Force Agents developed information which led to probable cause to obtain a search warrant at 51519 Highway 6 and 24, Space 36, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Pursuant to the search warrant, Task Force Agents seized an additional half pound of methamphetamine, a powder believed to be a cutting agent, and packaging materials in the residence.

“Our special agents are tasked with an ongoing mission to target the drug smugglers that create havoc in our communities,” said Jeffrey Copp, ICE Denver special agent-in-charge. “Working together with our law enforcement partners, we hope to close the valve to the illegal drug pipeline. This seizure is one of many steps toward this goal.” Copp heads the ICE Office of Investigations which includes the states of: Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.

Benjamin Siguenza-Mendoza and Ruth Siguenza-Mendoza have been charged by complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, in violation of United States Code 846 and 841 (a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(iiii). If convicted, the defendant’s face not less than 10 years and no more than life imprisonment; $4,000,000 fine or both; no less than 5 years supervised release; and a $100.00 assessment fee. A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document. Every defendant accused of committing a federal crime has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.

A detention hearing has been scheduled for both defendants in U.S. District Court in Grand Junction, Colorado on Tuesday, September 27, 2005.

The DEA HIDTA Task Force is comprised of DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the Grand Junction Police Department. The DEA Task Force would like to recognize the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT) for its assistance in this investigation.

The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty. For more information please contact U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Affairs Officer Jeffrey Dorschner at (303) 454-0243 or DEA Special Agent Karen Flowers at (303) 705-7351.

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