DENVER -- A grand jury indicted 24 people on 175 counts last month for conspiring to commit several crimes for nearly three years, the Denver District Attorney's Office said Monday.
The suspects committed the crimes between Feb. 5, 2017, and October of this year to support illegal drug habits, prosecutors said.
The 24 will face charges collectively and individually that range from violating Colorado’s Organized Crime Control Act, attempted murder, aggravated motor vehicle theft, impersonating a peace officer, burglary, assault, forgery and possession with intent to manufacture or distribute controlled substances, among other charges.
“At the heart of this indictment is an all-too-familiar tale of how drug addiction fuels criminal activity,” Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said.
“We need, as a community, to focus on treatment and a public health response to substance abuse to help address associated criminal behavior.
"This type of illegal activity negatively affected many individuals, businesses and communities throughout the Denver metro area.”
Several of the suspects lived together and shared stolen money, property, vehicles, IDs, food, clothing and illegal drugs, prosecutors said.
At least 28 vehicles were stolen across the metro area are believed to be attributed to the group’s coordinated activities, prosecutors said.
The suspects are accused of stealing the vehicles to commit other crimes, including burglaries.
They would then trade or sell the stolen property, guns, Social Security cards, credit cards, bikes, golf clubs, professional makeup kits and numerous other items to acquire methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, prosecutors said.
Officials said one of the suspects is accused of pretending to be a police officer while stealing a vehicle, then caused injuries to an actual officer while being apprehended.