Giant drug trafficking ring uncovered by the DEA with ties to Colorado Springs

DENVER (KKTV) – Colorado authorities were able to dismantle an international drug trafficking ring that had ties to Colorado Springs.

The Colorado Attorney General as well as the DEA, Arvada Police and the 17th District Attorney’s Office announced the case to the public on Friday. The investigation began in March 2019 when authorities discovered a “thriving” market for illicit drugs, which included heroin and counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl.

Some of the investigations took place in Colorado Springs. In early December 2020, police officers contacted one of the dozen suspects at his home on 4202 Pikes Peak Avenue. The suspect, Jose Luis Salas-Lugo, gave officers permission to search his home as per the charges, and they found about 21 pounds of meth, nearly two pounds of heroin, 423.3 grams of counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, and a loaded Ruger LCP pistol of caliber .380.

As a result of the investigation, 64 people were accused of participating in an international drug trafficking network that transported large quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl from Mexico through US ports of entry to Colorado in covert motor vehicles. The investigation also revealed money laundering in which drug trafficking was carried out via various bank transfers and bulk shipments in US currency to Mexico. The team found these drug trafficking cells in the Denver metropolitan area, Colorado Springs, and Adams County.

Click here to read the full version of the DEA.

“Our community is safer today thanks to the dedication of our investigators and our law enforcement partners. The distribution of narcotics and weapons at this level should be of great importance to our society, ”said Link Strate, Arvada Police Chief.

The investigation has recovered:

  • 77,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills (contain fentanyl)
  • 250 pounds of methamphetamine
  • 60 pounds of heroin
  • 6.8 kilograms of cocaine
  • 12 firearms
  • 19 vehicles valued at $ 229,000
  • $ 931,000 in US currency

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