Tour buses from Mexico made bi-weekly trips to the metro area with more than just human passengers on board. According the West Metro Drug Task Force and the DEA, the buses carried tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana, compressed into bricks, to a warehouse in Commerce City.
“From May 2010 until April 2011, the buses traveled twice a week from Mexico to the warehouse in Commerce City, carrying over 400 pounds of marijuana each time,” said Jefferson County District Attorney spokeswoman Pam Russell. “The compressed marijuana has a street value of $50 per ounce and $800 a pound.”
During the course of the investigation, Russell said detectives seized 14 vehicles, seven firearms, over 1,100 lbs. of marijuana, 53 grams of methamphetamine, and $134,000 in cash. Los Zetas, one of the most violent and feared Mexican drug cartels, is believed to be the source of this alleged marijuana distribution operation, which was based in Durango, Mexico.
Russell said 18 of the twenty-three men have been arrested. The remaining five are believed to be in Mexico. Ten of those arrested are believed to be on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds.
“This is great example of teamwork between local and federal law enforce-ment agencies in Colorado and our neighboring states. An operation of this size requires extraordinary organization and expertise,” said Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey, “With the West Metro Drug Task Force leading the way, a major drug ring bringing large quantities of drugs into the our community has been dismantled.”
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