Drug busts continue in valley | AspenTimes.com

Drug busts continue in valley

Joel Stonington

Federal and local agents arrested two more people Wednesday on suspicion of dealing cocaine in connection with a Drug Enforcement Administration bust Tuesday.Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team agents, working alongside the DEA, arrested Kristie Kay Goodhard of Carbondale and Ivan Dizan Rascon-Garcia in Garfield County on multiple felony drug charges. District Attorney Martin Beeson confirmed continuing arrests in the DEA case that started when agents learned Jose Jesus Sanchez-Ceja, a suspected cocaine ringleader, was going to flee the area. He is in custody on $750,000 bond in Pitkin County.Rascon-Garcia is in the Garfield County jail on eight counts each of selling, possession and possession with intent to distribute. He is also charged with conspiracy to sell cocaine and three counts of theft. Goodhard faces charges of cocaine possession, conspiracy to possess cocaine, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and use of cocaine. She is in custody on a $15,000 bond. There were no arrests in the case in either Pitkin County or Eagle County, according to the sheriff’s offices.Officials with TRIDENT – the local interagency drug enforcement team – and the DEA expected to issue a news release on the drug investigation today. District Attorney Martin Beeson said he couldn’t get into specifics Wednesday because he feared compromising the ongoing investigation.”I certainly don’t want to put the health and safety of officers in the field in jeopardy,” he said.Because of the ongoing arrests, Beeson obtained a court order sealing arrest warrants, search warrants and arrest affidavits.”I do anticipate in the very near future filing a motion with the court to unseal them,” he said.Beeson said the investigation spans Garfield and Pitkin counties. Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said it could extend as far away as Denver.The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency also was asked to participate in the arrests because some of the suspects are from other countries and may be in the United States illegally, Vallario said. Sanchez-Ceja was deported in the 1970s but reportedly returned illegally.Vallario, who is chairman of TRIDENT’s board, said the arrests are the result of an extensive investigation.”There was a lot of effort put into it in the last several months by a lot of different agencies,” he said.The DEA has continued to refuse to comment on the case, saying the investigation is ongoing. Glenwood Springs correspondent Dennis Webb contributed to this report.

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