A Mexico-linked heroin trafficking ring operating in the Denver metro area was busted after a 61-count grand jury indictment accused six men of racketeering activities from April to December 2017. Five defendants were living in the U.S. illegally.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, four of the men had been deported multiple times and detainers were issued for four of the six defendants. One of the six’s immigration status was still unknown, and one is not yet in custody according to the Denver Post.
The six were indicted as a result of a long-term investigation conducted by the West Metro Drug Task Force, which made undercover purchases or seized 3,305 grams of heroin. Search warrants at four stash houses reportedly turned up an additional 3,215 grams of heroin and $6,700.
The investigation revealed that the defendants were allegedly importing heroin from outside of Colorado and using multiple stash houses in the Denver metro area to store drugs.
According to investigators, buyers would call a point of contact who would act as a dispatcher and arrange where drugs would be delivered. A runner would meet the buyer, and return the cash to a defendant identified as Fermin Flores-Rosales, 41, who then allegedly wired the buy money to banks in Mexico.
According to ICE, Flores-Rosales, his co-defendants Cristobal Flores-Rosales, 47; Yoel Soto-Campos, 21; and Joel Torrez-Espinoza, 25; were illegally in the United States. Torrez-Espinoza was previously convicted in 2012 in Utah of felony possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
A fifth defendant, Mario Acosta-Ruiz aka Alfonso Rosales-Alverez, was in the U.S. illegally from Mexico as well.
A sixth defendant, 24-year-old Juan Borques Meza, was also indicted. ICE did not share information on his immigration status. Torrez-Espinoza was identified as the defendant not yet in custody.
All six defendants were charged with criminal conspiracy and racketeering for violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) and for the alleged distribution of drugs.
District Attorney Peter Weir said, “This indictment and the dismantling of this heroin ring goes a long way towards stopping the flow of heroin into our community.”
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)