DENVER (KDVR) — The Drug Enforcement Administration and local Colorado partners announced indictments and arrests after a major investigation into a drug network that had international reach.
Overall, 19 people were indicted, with two other people identified and arrested after the indictment. The Grand Jury indictment includes 20 counts, which outline how the enterprise distributed cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl throughout Arapahoe, Douglas, Denver and Jefferson counties.
Investigators said it is believed the drug trafficking ring in Colorado has ties to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico. Law enforcement seized over 110,000 counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl, 6 kilograms of methamphetamine, 8 pounds of heroin, 11 kilograms of cocaine and $450,000 in cash in the bust.
The investigation began in April and spanned eight months. It circled around Saul Ramon Rivera-Beltran, 30, of Thornton. He’s accused of coordinating drug shipments and deals from Mexico, where investigators believed the fentanyl was manufactured, smuggled and brought to Colorado.
Rivera-Beltran is being held on $1 million bond.
The charges range from racketeering and conspiracy under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act. They also include drug distribution and money laundering charges.
Denver Field Division Action Special Agent in Charge David Olesky from the DEA was joined by Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Executive Director Keith Weis and 18th Judicial District Attorney John Kellner.