Eagle County busts local drug ring; 20 people arrested
August 18, 2009
EAGLE COUNTY – The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 20 people on felony drug distribution charges related to the alleged sale of cocaine in El Jebel and the Roaring Fork Valley.
According to a sheriff’s office press release, authorities conducted a five-month investigation into illegal drug distribution in the valley that resulted in the arrests. According to the release, 25 people allegedly sold 1.6 pounds of cocaine within the past five months.
The sheriff’s office is still searching for five suspects wanted in connection with the investigation. They are: Jose Ramon Estrada-Medina, 26, of Basalt; Claudio Pacheca Bernal, 31, of Basalt; Eutiquio Castillo Hernandez, 25, of Aspen; Jesus Castillo Ortega, 22, of El Jebel; and Armando Esparza, 18, of Basalt.
Felony arrest warrants have been issued for each of the individuals and the sheriff’s office is asking for public assistance in locating them.
Of the 20 arrested in connection with the investigation, six were from Glenwood Springs, seven were from Carbondale, four were from El Jebel, two were from Basalt and one was from Aspen.
Five of the arrestees had bonded out of jail by Tuesday afternoon; two had pleaded guilty and were released to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Twelve of the 13 still in custody have ICE holds, according to the sheriff’s office.
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Various agencies were involved in the investigation, including the Aspen, Avon, Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood, Eagle and Snowmass Village police departments, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the suspects still at large should contact the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 328-8500, or Eagle County Crime Stoppers at (970) 328-7007, or online at http://www.tipsubmit.com.
See Wednesday’s Aspen Times for more on the drug busts.