Bust nails top Rifle meth dealer, authorities say
Authorities believe they caught Rifle’s main methamphetamine supplier and his California connection in a roundup last week that included seven arrests and seizure of 3 pounds of meth.
The Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT), in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, also seized a stolen firearm and additional undisclosed amounts of drugs as part of the investigation, which included three state wiretaps as well as searches of multiple locations and two vehicles.
Further seizures and arrests are anticipated.
Chief among the suspects are Frank Minoru Shino Jr,. 49, of Rifle, and Javier Osvaldo Madeo, 43, of Whittier, California.
Shino, who has prior arrests for four separate felony drug charges, child abuse and vehicle theft, was arrested on the night of April 16 for conspiracy to distribute a schedule II substance, a class 1 drug felony. He is being held at the Garfield County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
Madeo, who has prior arrests for domestic violence, felony theft, possession of a loaded firearm by a felon, grand theft, 10 drug felonies and second-degree burglary, was arrested early on the morning of April 17 on the same charge and issued a $75,000 bond.
Arrested the same night were Wendy Holsclaw, 40, Kristine Llacuna, 39, Juan Lloya, 31, Rose Padron, 32, and Shannon Wilson, 31. The arrest of Corrine Hudson, 23, of New Castle on Jan 27 was also related to the investigation.
The group is suspected of distributing pounds of methamphetamine around Garfield, Eagle and Mesa counties. Shino is described in his arrest affidavit as the main source of supply in Rifle, while Madeo is characterized as his out-of-state supplier.
“The culmination of the intercepted phone calls, physical surveillance and willingness to acquire and sell methamphetamine … shows Shino has a pattern to not only arrange for the importation of drugs, but to also redistribute them to others,” the affidavit said. “Additionally, when Shino is asked how long it would take him to sell a pound, he (Shino) did not hesitate when he gave Madeo a timeline of only a day or two.”
The affidavit includes numerous text conversations between Shino and Madeo in which they dicker over price and debate quality. In one instance, police intercepted plans to drop drugs off at a Rifle apartment complex, where the manager was supposed to pick them up. In another, authorities discovered that the pair used hollowed-out batteries to transport the drugs. At least one conversation suggests that Shino may have supplied Madeo with marijuana to take back to California in return.
TRIDENT chairman and Silt Police Chief Levy Burris emphasized that the investigation is continuing and encouraged anyone with information about drug trafficking in the area to call TRIDENT at (970) 945-0744.
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Between Thursday and Saturday morning, local law enforcement arrested nine people accused of soliciting children for sex as part of a sting operation.