TRIDENT agents make four drug busts in past week
Agents with the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team made four more arrests last week in Rifle and Parachute for methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.Agents with the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team made four more arrests last week in Rifle and Parachute for methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.The latest bust occurred around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 4, at two separate residences in Rifle. TRIDENT officers, with the assistance of the Garfield County All Hazards Response Team, executed search warrants at 419 W. 26th St. and at 415 Ute Ave. in Rifle.Seized from 419 W. 26th St. was a small amount of cocaine, pharmaceutical drugs, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. At the 415 Ute Ave. residence, 235 grams of suspected cocaine were seized, along with 45 grams of suspected methamphetamine for a total approximate street value of $28,000, according to a TRIDENT press release.In April, undercover officers allegedly purchased 18 ounce of methamphetamine and 18 ounce of cocaine on two separate occasions from the two residences in Rifle.Miguel Angel Ruelas, 21, of 419 W. 26th St., was charged with distribution of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute, distribution of cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana (less than one ounce) and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was further charged with child abuse, as the narcotics were located in areas accessible by small children. It was also learned that Ruelas was on active probation at the time of the purchase of narcotics.Leovardo Castellon, 33, of 415 Ute Ave., was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of cocaine and child abuse.The arrests were the culmination of an investigation TRIDENT officers have been working on since March.”We stumble across the information through intelligence or confidential information,” said Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, who is also the chairman of the TRIDENT board. “What TRIDENT wants to do is focus on the distribution group.”In the same investigation, undercover TRIDENT officers also allegedly purchased methamphetamine and cocaine from a residence and a business in Parachute.An officer bought 12 ounce of meth from the kitchen area of Martha’s Restaurant in Parachute from Antonio Rodriguez-Landa and his wife, Arisbeth Miranda-Martinez, at two different times. On another occasion, an officer purchased 18 ounce of cocaine and a stolen handgun from Rodriguez-Landa from his residence at 200 Colorado Ave. #2302, in Parachute. On the same day, officers purchased 14 ounce of meth from Ruelas at the Super 8 Motel in Parachute.”The whole object of the drug enforcement team is to climb the ladder (of drug distribution) and see how high we can get up,” Vallario said. “We’re seeing an increase in meth and some coke and (the Rifle area) is where the cases take us. I don’t want to say that Rifle is a bad place in Garfield County – but it’s been a run of bad luck in Rifle as a whole.”e.”
The Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force funded through federal, state and local government funding sources. Anyone with information about drug trafficking in the area is encouraged to contact TRIDENT at 945-8790.
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