TRIDENT arrests suspected heroin ring
November 2, 2005
An undercover operation has led to the arrests of nine valley residents suspected of possessing and distributing heroin, a drug authorities say is not common here.The Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team made the arrests in October after a months-long investigation.While heroin use is not widespread in the valley, its presence here is a concern, said TRIDENT task force commander Jeremy Ownbey.”The heroin took us by surprise a little bit,” he said. Ownbey went through records back to TRIDENT’s inception in 1998 and said there had been no heroin seizures until this year. “Heroin is just not anything we see around the valley,” he said.But earlier this year, TRIDENT received information about a group of Glenwood Springs and Carbondale residents who traveled to Denver about twice a week to buy the drug and bring it back to the Roaring Fork Valley to use and sell.The tip led to the arrests, starting in May, of Douglas Milkovich, his wife, Dorothy, Amy Thompson, Nicole Folsom, Mark Nelson, Chesley Seldeen and her boyfriend Shanti Waldrop.”These people were all friends who would gather money together and go to Denver two times a week,” Ownbey said. Since the arrests were made, the seven offenders have been charged with crimes ranging from possession to intent to distribute heroin, which carry possible sentences of one to 24 years in prison.”We’re still receiving information that there are people in the area using heroin and selling it,” he said.What he said is also disturbing is a growing number of crack cocaine cases, a drug that is associated with heroin use. But despite their concern, TRIDENT officials believe crack and heroin users are a small part of the valley drug scene.”I don’t think they’re a serious problem,” Ownbey said.Anyone with information about drug use can call TRIDENT at 945-8790. All information is confidential if requested, Ownbey said.