GLENWOOD SPRINGS - Fourteen suspected drug dealers, including two juveniles, were rounded up on Wednesday by approximately 40 officers and agents with the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team. The sweep was the culmination of a nine-month undercover investigation by team agents.
Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said the investigation was "kind of like you're pulling the thread on your sweater, and the more you pull, the more comes out."
Seven other suspects are still at large and are being sought by authorities, according to Wilson, chairman of the team's board.
Nine of those arrested were from Carbondale, including Evance Z. Grandberry, 22, the alleged supplier for several other suspects in the bust, according to a statement issued by the team Friday.
Grandberry was arrested "in the early hours of Dec. 12 ... without incident, at his home," according to the statement.
Two of those arrested were from Glenwood Springs, one was from Basalt, and one was from New Castle. The two juveniles arrested in the sweep were from Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.
All 14 of the arrested suspects were taken into custody on Wednesday, mostly at their homes.
"This operation was conducted with the assistance of multiple law enforcement agencies who assigned personnel to spend the day of Dec. 12 locating, contacting and arresting the 14 listed suspects," Wilson reported in a written statement. "All arrests were concluded safely and peacefully." Wilson said at the onset, five juveniles were identified as suspected drug distributors. Three of them turned 18 during the period of the investigation and were arrested as adults.
He wrote that the discovery of juveniles in the investigation "points out the need to educate and protect our children from the dangers and availability of illegal narcotics."
He said he hopes that one result of the operation will be a decrease in the number of dealers selling to local school children.
During the investigation, according to the statement, undercover police officers bought cocaine, ecstasy/MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, prescription drugs, one assault rifle, and one .38 cal. pistol. Wilson said the amount of drugs involved were "predominantly user quantities" with the exception of an ounce or two of cocaine in one instance.
Wilson said the agencies involved included police from Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Silt and Rifle, the Garfield County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE).