An international drug trafficking organization is finished in Pueblo.
The DEA with the help from local law enforcement, uncovered an international drug-smuggling ring that trafficked methamphetamine from Mexico to California and eventually to Pueblo.
“It’s certainly Mexican meth,” said DEA resident agent in charge Matthew Barden. “It’s all cartel driven.”
The DEA seized 66 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of over $3-million dollars.
“Probably enough for everybody in Pueblo County to get stoned 8 or 10 times,” Agent Barden said.
Seven members of the organization were arrested last weekend.
Henry Loya, 32, described as a cell head in San Francisco, was identified as a source of the supply for the Pueblo Drug Trafficking Organization.
Anthony Caro, 35, is being called the cell head in Pueblo. Caro was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on what investigators say was a drug run from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Pueblo.
Also arrested from Pueblo:
-Juan Carlos Rayos-Franco, 30.
-Clint Nielsen, 39.
-Sheriee Torres Maes, 31.
-Patricia Maes, 25.
-Jonathan Caudill, 36.
Investigators say along with the meth, 189 grams of heroin, $111-thousand dollars in cash and 16 vehicles were confiscated. Thirteen guns were also seized, seven of which were described as stolen.
The investigation lasted over 13 months, during which time investigators picked the drug trafficking organization a part, piece by piece.
“The guys and gals told us that we absolutely crushed them, crippled them with seizing their drugs,” Agent Barden said.
One unique way the organization smuggled meth into Pueblo, was through the mail. Just last month the U.S. Postal Service seized 28 pounds of meth that was hidden in corn starch containers and shipped.
“The corn starch was taken out, meth, about a pound each was put back inside of it and resealed,” Agent Barden said.
The DEA estimates that despite its success in bringing this organization down, around 400 more pounds of meth made it through the dragnet and to the streets of Pueblo County.
“Is there somebody else who’s going to take their place? Absolutely, and all I say is put us to the test and we’ll be back here in a year or so,” Agent Barden said.