The suspects were arrested after the completion of four separate investigations, and 97 total defendants have been charged in seven separate federal indictments. More than 500 officers and state officials worked together to identify the suspects accused of drug crimes.
The arrests resulted from a conglomeration of four separate investigations conducted by the Metro Gang Task Force, the Denver Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Department of Homeland Security, and the North Metro Task Force. Overall, more than 40 individual groups worked together to arrest the suspects. The bust began as a combined effort to track money laundering, cash smuggling, gang activity, and drug smuggling.
The suspects face charges in federal courts, with most subject to sentences of 10 years or longer. Some face life in prison, while others are likely to be charged with class 2 or 3 felonies. Fines that may be levied against the suspects could be as high as $10 million, officials say.
In addition to issuing drug charges, officials seized more than a dozen weapons, $400 in cash, 26 kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of crack and a pound of methamphetamine. The state is expected to bring further charges against a group of reputed gang members reportedly involved in several bank robberies in the metro area dating back to 2009. Reports indicate that 23 of those suspects have been convicted of bank robbery, while 19 were charged with federal crimes and four cases remain in court.
The individuals allegedly involved in the drug ring were reportedly moving cocaine throughout the areas of Tijuana, Los Angeles and Denver.
Source: Yahoo!: “80 Arrests in Colorado’s Biggest Drug Bust Ever,” Susan Graybeal, Feb. 10, 2012