$1 Million Worth of Drugs Seized in Pueblo County, Colorado
A yearlong investigation by federal agents and authorities in Pueblo County, Colorado has led to the seizure of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin valued at about $1million.
In a press release, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office said the drug-trafficking operation – which allegedly has ties to a Mexican drug cartel – was broken up last month on May 19 by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Taskforce.
Two men, Benito Granado-Valenzuela, 46, and Aleyda Lopez, 33, were also arrested in the bust that netted 21 pounds of methamphetamine, 8 ounces of cocaine, and 10 ounces of heroin.
Special Agent Tim Scott from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said in a statement, “This is an excellent example of what local, state and federal authorities, all working together can accomplish. This is the whole purpose for the task force, to bring together all the agencies to work together at a higher level.”
Drug-Trafficking Operation in Pueblo County, CO Brought Down
According to the Colorado Gazette, the drug ring in Pueblo County was being coordinated by the Mexican Gulf Cartel. Sheriff Kirk Taylor, who heads the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, explained that the drugs were transported from Mexico City through the Interstate 25 corridor from Arizona then all the way to Colorado’s Pueblo County.
In quotes from the Denver Post, Scott, who is the DEA’s resident agent, explained that, “The I-25 corridor is a massive route for drugs being brought up from the border. This is a typical example of an investigation where your sources are based in Mexico — or Arizona and New Mexico — and they are bringing drugs up to Colorado.”
The law enforcement authorities went on to explain that the drug bust was not a one-time event, but rather, involved a series of three seizures: two traffic stops and one raid on a home in Pueblo on the 2100 block of East Ninth Street. The authorities found some heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and $21,000 at the home.
Fox 21 News reports that the first traffic stop was in September, last year, and led to the seizure of 12 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the lining of the car seat. The second traffic stop in October unearthed 8 pounds of methamphetamine wrapped in plastic bags and hidden in the gas tank. The meth from both traffic stops was described as “super meth”, which means it was almost 100-percent pure.
It also emerged from the Sheriff’s Office statement that one of the men arrested, Benito Granado-Valenzuela, is a Mexican national who was in the U.S illegally. The suspect had allegedly been deported several times and was not authorized to be in the U.S at the time of his arrest. Nevertheless, authorities said he played a “central part” in their investigation.
It was reported by Fox 21 News that Granado-Valenzuela’s accomplice, Aleyda Lopez, was trailed by detectives when they received a tip that he was transporting illegal drugs from Arizona to the Pueblo residence. Once he arrived, the detectives used a search warrant and found the drugs hidden in a bag of dog food. This led to the arrest of the two suspects on charges of possession and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
Sheriff Taylor says the investigation is still ongoing and more arrests are possible.