DEA investigation led to Redstone cocaine arrests |

DEA investigation led to Redstone cocaine arrests

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The recent seizure of over 2 pounds of cocaine in Redstone originated as a federal Drug Enforcement Agency case, according to authorities.

Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling, board chairman for the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT), said although the local task force made the arrest and seizure, the case could return to the DEA soon.

Two men were arrested and are charged with possession with the intent to sell the drug: Octavio Garcia Aguirre, 24, and Cesar Joya Esparza, 31, are both being held in the Pitkin County Jail. The two men were arrested at the Redstone Inn, where they worked in the kitchen.

Schilling said the case was probably under investigation for “a couple of years” by DEA agents, who have since been reassigned and left the area. He said TRIDENT officers got information that a drug trafficking organization was operating in the area, and began their own investigation.

Officers arrested one of the suspects after the man allegedly sold cocaine to an undercover officer, Schilling said.

According to a press release from TRIDENT, officers seized 2.4 pounds of cocaine as well as a triple-beam scale, $650 in cash and packaging material.

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The press release stated that more arrests related to the drug ring are expected, but Schilling said he could not comment on TRIDENT’s ongoing investigation.

“My guess would be that more arrests would probably be dealers and suppliers,” he said. “But if we were to get information on where that large of a quantity of drugs is coming from through our investigation, the DEA would take over the case and we’d assist them.”

Schilling said most of the alleged drug dealing was being done from the Redstone Inn, but he doesn’t know how much was sold or to whom.