DENVER – LawFuel.com – A federal grand jury in Denver has returned a 55-count indictment charging 22 defendants with conspiracy and other drug trafficking crimes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Weld County Drug Task Force, and the Longmont Police Department announced today. Of the 22 indicted, 14 were arrested this week without incident. Six of the defendants were already in custody. Another 2 have not been arrested, and are now considered fugitives. Also, 3 search warrants were executed, two in Longmont and one in Thornton. Those arrested this week will appear for detention hearings in U.S. District Court in Denver on Monday, May 4, 2009.
The 10 month investigation, known as “Operation Bad Call”, has resulted in the seizure of over 4 kilograms of cocaine and 221 pounds of marijuana. Also, $9,870 in US currency, 44 Oxycodon pills, a cocaine press, two handguns, a 2004 Yamaha Motorcycle, a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche and a 2005 Mercedes 4-door were also seized. One leader of the organization is believed to be Jesus Maldonado, Jr., based in Longmont. Charles Clapp is also thought to be a leader. The investigation revealed that the defendants allegedly trafficked cocaine in Boulder, Adams, Arapahoe and Weld Counties, among other places.
Those who were charged in the indictment and arrested this week are:
SIGIFREDO CHAVEZ-CUEVAS, age 31, of Thornton, Colorado
CHARLES LESTER CLAPP, age 29, of Frederick, Colorado
JESUS MALDONADO, Jr., age 22, of Longmont, Colorado
ARTURO JULIO ZATARAIN-MORROY, age 24, of Longmont, Colorado
ANTHONY LEE VALDEZ, age 29, of Longmont, Colorado
JAVIER MARMOLEJO-MEDINA, age 20 or 22, of Longmont, Colorado
CHRISTOPHER HYUONGHUNG REIVICH, age 28, of Boulder, Colorado
JOSE ANTONIO MARTINEZ-SOLIS, age 31, of Longmont, Colorado
MATTHEW WOLFE ROSEN, age 43, of Denver, Colorado
OBED ISRAEL HILDAGO-HERNANDEZ, age 24, of Longmont, Colorado
OSVALDO QUIROZ-ZUNIGA, age 23, of Longmont, Colorado
ERNESTO ALEJANDRO GUTIERREZ, age 28, of Longmont, Colorado
JESUS ALBERTO REYES-LOPEZ, age 23, of Denver, Colorado
JOSE GABINO RODRIGUEZ-RIVERA, age 30, of Commerce City, Colorado
Those who were charged in the indictment and already in custody include:
EUJENIO MORENO, age 39
MARIO ALBERTO BORJA-SALAS, age 31
URIEL REYES-MACIAS, age 25
JOSE ROBERTO VASQUEZ, age 25
JAIME MADRID-GURROLA, age 41
PAULINO PARRA-RAYOS, age 24
Those who were charged in the indictment, and are fugitives include:
RODRIGO VALENCIA-MONDRAGON, age 30
TOBY LOPEZ, age 30
“This case is an excellent example of how local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and drug enforcement task force officers can work together to remove drug dealers from our streets,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David Gaouette.
“This investigation is representative of DEA’s efforts in targeting major drug trafficking organizations operating in the Rocky Mountain region,” said Jeffrey D. Sweetin, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Rocky Mountain Field Division. “I believe our communities are safer today because of this effort.”
“I think the fact that this important case started with the Weld County Drug Task Force and quickly involved other local agencies, in addition to the DEA, demonstrates the kind of law enforcement cooperation we enjoy in this area. That amounts to bad news for the bad guys,” said Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner.
Longmont Public Safety Chief Mike Butler said, “This case was brought to a successful conclusion based on the intelligent and hard work by the Longmont Police Department’s Special Enforcement Unit, the effective partnership between the Longmont Police Department and federal authorities, and perhaps most importantly, as a result of our community’s continuing involvement in keeping our communities safe.”
“The Evans Police Department continues to be a strong supporter for the Weld County Drug Task Force by providing officers and equipment over the years to focus on this criminal activity,” said Evans Chief of Police Rick Brandt. “These types of inter-agency cooperative operations demonstrates the effectiveness that can be brought to bear upon the illicit drug network, and make substantial arrests of the offenders.”
“This was a huge long term investigation for all of us involved, and bringing it to a safe conclusion is going to have a very positive response to our community,” said Longmont Chief of Police Mike Butler.
If convicted, all twenty-two defendants face not less than 10 years, and up to life in federal prison for conspiracy to knowingly distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. They also faces fines of up to $4,000,000. Defendants also face a variety of other drug charges.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Weld County Drug Task Force, and the Longmont Police Department. Assisting in the investigation was the Front Range Task Force. In addition, the following agencies helped in making this week’s arrests: The Boulder County Drug Task Force, the Boulder County SWAT team, the Longmont SWAT team, the North Metro Drug Task Force, the Denver Police Department, the Thornton Police Department, the Frederick Police Department, the Denver Police Homicide Unit, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Phillips.
These charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.