on August 18, 2016 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Lone Tree resident suspected of leading heroin-trafficking ring

Lone Tree resident suspected of leading heroin-trafficking ring

A Lone Tree man has been named in a grand jury indictment as the leader of a drug-trafficking network that had $ 2.2 million worth of heroin seized in recent raids.

Jose DeJesus Bernal-Zamora was at his apartment in the 9000 block of South Yosemite Street when law enforcement officers executed a search warrant July 27, according to the indictment, which was issued Aug. 11. Officers turned up more than a kilogram of heroin, approximately 131 grams of cocaine, a 9mm Beretta pistol and $ 10,498 in cash during the seizure.

“The drug epidemic is still going on, and it’s going to continue,” said Lone Tree interim police Chief Ron Pinson, whose agency was not involved in the operation.

Pinson said the popularity of heroin has risen during his more than 25 years in law enforcement.

“When I was on the road, you didn’t see heroin,” said Pinson. “If you ran across heroin, it was a surprise. Now, it’s prevalent.”

The raid was part of Operation Muchas Pacas – an investigation that began in August 2015 as a partnership between the Drug Enforcement Administration, Denver Police Department and the West Metro Drug Task Force.

“Stopping the flow and sale of dangerous drugs in Colorado is a major priority of this office” Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said in a news release. “This case was a great example of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working together to dismantle an international drug trafficking network.”

In its full scope, the operation resulted in the indictments of 25 people as well as the seizure of 47 pounds of heroin, $ 218,712 in cash, three vehicles and 11 firearms.

Bernal-Zamora faces 20 counts in the indictment. In addition to the drug-trafficking charges, he will also faces counts alleging conspiracy and money laundering.

During its operation, the drug-trafficking organization transported heroin from Mexico through Arizona and into Colorado. The group concealed the drugs in the spare tires of vehicles and in FedEx packages.

“Opioid abuse is at epidemic proportions throughout the country” Barbra Roach, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s DenverField Division, stated in the release. “The heroin seized in this OCDETF Strike Force operation was produced in Mexico and was destined to ruin lives and communities in the state of Colorado.”




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