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Grand jury indicts six in heroin trafficking ring
A district grand jury returned an indictment accusing six men of operating a heroin trafficking ring in Jefferson County and the metro Denver area from April to December 2017.
The 61-count indictment was returned on Dec. 22, and includes the felony charges of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, conspiracy to distribute a Schedule 1 controlled substance and others according to the individuals’ alleged participation.
The six men are Fermin Flores-Rosales, 41; Mario Acosta-Ruiz, 30; Cristobal Flores-Rosales, 47; Yoel Soto-Campos, 21; Juan Borques Meza, 24; and Joel Torrez-Espinoza, 25. All but Torrez-Espinosa have been arrested and will appear in court at 11 a.m. Jan. 16. An outstanding warrant has been issued for Torrez-Espinosa.
According to the indictment, the structure of the trafficking ring was highly organized. Members received shipments of heroin from outside Colorado and the drugs were stored in “stash houses.” Prospective heroin customers would make a phone call to someone acting as “dispatcher” who would provide information as to where and when the drugs would be delivered. A “runner” would meet the prospective buyer with the drugs at the agreed upon location.
During warranted searches of four “stash houses,” $6,700 and 3,215 grams of heroin was seized. Investigators working on the case report seizing or made undercover purchases of 3,305 grams of heroin with a street value of $264,400.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug that can be injected, sniffed, snorted or smoked to create a short-term euphoria experience. Regular users of heroin can develop a tolerance. This can lead to an overdose, which can produce a life-threatening reaction or death. Severe withdraw is common for some who abruptly stop using the drug, and withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as a few hours after the drug was last taken.
The lead agency in the investigation and arrest of the five men was the West Metro Drug Task Force. Assisting agencies were the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit and the Denver Police Department.
“This indictment and the dismantling of this heroin ring goes a long way towards stopping the flow of heroin into our community,” said District Attorney Pete Weir in a press release. “This is a great example of teamwork between local and federal law enforcement agencies in Colorado.”
Former human services caseworker pleads guilty
A former caseworker with Jefferson County Human Services pleaded guilty to two felony charges related to falsifying information in child abuse and neglect cases.
Richelle Schultz, 53, pleaded guilty to attempting to influence a public servant and forgery on Jan. 9. Her sentencing will take place at 8 a.m. March 5.
Schultz was a caseworker for the Jefferson County Department of Human Services from December 2015 until she resigned in July 2016. Her duties included investigating complaints alleging child abuse and neglect.
Following Schultz’s resignation, a review of the cases she worked on was conducted. The review revealed that she entered false information into the database on 12 cases, according to court documents. In the 12 cases, she reported that she had interviewed the victim, family and/or witnesses in person and/or on the telephone, when she had not.
The Jefferson County Department of Human Services conducted a subsequent review of the 12 cases in which Schultz entered erroneous information, and supervisors confirmed all the cases were closed, and there were no unresolved safety issues.
Arvada man dies in auto-pedestrian accident
Arvada Police are investigating an auto-pedestrian accident that resulted in the death of Arvada resident Nathan Osburn, 42.
At about 4:15 p.m. Jan. 10, Osburn was walking in the area of Pomona Drive and Quay Drive when an automobile left the roadway and struck him on the sidewalk. The vehicle was being driven by Troy Glassford, 39.
Glassford swerved while traveling east on Pomona Drive and collided with a wooden privacy fence and shed in the 8200 block of Quay Drive before striking Osburn.
Osburn was pronounced dead at the scene. Glassford was arrested and jailed on vehicular homicide and DUID charges.
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