4 arrested in Mesa County drug busts; authorities seize 600 pounds of marijuana

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Some of the drugs seized during the bust. Credit: Grand Junction Police Department

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Four people have been arrested following a major drug bust operation on the Western Slope, the Grand Junction Police Department said Thursday.

According to GJPD, local, state and federal authorities worked together during a two-day operation along Interstate 70 in Mesa County near the Utah border.

“The purpose of the operation was to interdict bulk currency and large amounts of illegal drugs which are commonly transported along the interstate,” police said in a statement.

During the operation, authorities seized the following:

  • 600 pounds of marijuana
  • 33 grams psilocybin mushrooms
  • 1200 marijuana vape pens
  • 2 AR pistols
  • 2 handguns
  • 2 bullet proof vests
  • Approximately $19,000 in bulk currency
  • 200 grams marijuana concentrate
  • Cocaine (amount consistent with personal use)
  • Ecstasy (amount consistent with personal use)

The following four people were arrested:

Virginia resident Derrick Holmes, 25, faces charges of unlawful possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute, special offense – firearms, special offense – importation and possession of more than 12 grams of a Schedule 1 controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Virginia resident Brian Hartman, 37, faces the same charges as Holmes, plus possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

California resident Erika Valles Garcia, 23, is charged with disregarding a traffic control device and unlawful possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute.

California resident Makayla Kristine Lopez, 19, is charged with unlawful possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute.

They were all taken to the Mesa County Detention Facility following their arrests. Their mugshots can be found on GJPD’s blog.

“The success of this operation, as with most operations, is in large part due to the cooperation and hard work of everyone involved,” Sgt. Jason Sawyer of the Western Colorado Drug Task Force said in a statement. “We are thankful for all of the agencies and law enforcement personnel who provided the hard work to make this operation a success.”

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