Roaring Fork Valley drug investigation leads to 8 arrests
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Anyone with information about drug trafficking in the area is should call TRIDENT at 970-945-0744.
A six-month drug and racketeering investigation in the Roaring Fork Valley has resulted in arrests of eight people, five of them from Carbondale. A dozen more arrests are anticipated.
The Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team, otherwise known as TRIDENT, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, has already seized 7 pounds of methamphetamine, 2 kilograms of cocaine, $30,000 cash, two guns and one vehicle.
TRIDENT is a multijurisdictional drug task force funded through federal, state and local government sources.
The investigation, which utilized confidential informants, surveillance and wiretaps, uncovered the smuggling of significant quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico, California and Nevada into western Colorado. Authorities said several of the suspects would purchase or direct and arrange the purchase of large quantities of drugs to be imported into the United States through a person who operates out of Mexico.
Ninth District Judge John Neiley approved wiretaps in the case on May 30.
The first confirmed arrest in the case, Victor Dominguez-Garcia, aka “Cuate,” 37, of Carbondale, occurred Oct. 8. He was charged with first-degree felony distribution of more than 225 grams of a Schedule I or II drug, which is punishable with eight to 32 years in prison, three years of mandatory parole and fines of as much as $1 million.
Dominguez-Garcia is being held on a $150,000 bond, and his arrest affidavit is sealed.
On Oct. 10, police arrested Maria Modesta-Jimenez, 23, of Carbondale; Pedro Ramirez-Topete, 27, of El Jebel; and Octavio Arellano-Valdez, 25, of Carbondale. Their shared affidavit indicates that Dominguez-Garcia was under telephone surveillance and that his “longtime paramour,” Dirid Ulloa-Arvizu, had been sporadically providing information to the police for a couple of years.
Dominguez-Garcia was reportedly using his relatives, including Modesta-Jimenez and Ramirez-Topete, to assist him in distributing cocaine and collecting money. In the affidavit, investigators identified two drug sources, Macario Meraz-Lopez and Aldo Octavio Topete-Plascensia, aka “Belli.” There are currently no open court cases for either man.
Modesta-Jimenez, Ramirez-Topete and Arellano-Valdez were charged with felony distribution and have since been released on $50,000 bond each.
On Oct. 16, Juan Valentin Medina-Ponce, 26, of Carbondale; Sergio Ordonez-Gonzalez, 42, of Carbondale; and Daniel Dean Grindstaff, 31, of New Castle, were arrested on the same charge, issued $25,000 bonds and later released.
All of those arrested are scheduled to appear before Judge Denise Lynch.
A TRIDENT spokesperson confirmed that 12 additional arrest warrants have been issued.
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