TRIDENT busts cocaine distribution ring
The Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team busted a cocaine distribution ring on Nov. 18, concluding an investigation that began in mid-October.
In October, TRIDENT undercover officers began to purchase cocaine from Jaime Herrera Jurado from his residence at 817 Blake No. 5 in Glenwood Springs. From October through November TRIDENT purchased 41.2 grams (1.4 ounces) of cocaine from Jurado.
TRIDENT, with assistance from the Glenwood Springs Police Department, arrested Jurado on a $100,000 distribution warrant during a traffic stop in the 800 block of Cooper Avenue on Nov. 18. The passenger in the vehicle, Juan Barragan-Valerio, was detained and later found to be in possession of 15 grams of cocaine packaged for distribution. When Barragan-Valerio was booked into the Garfield County Jail, he was found to be in possession of one additional gram of cocaine.
Also arrested as a co-conspirator of Jaime Jurado was Joel Leon-Legarda, who had helped Jurado obtain cocaine for a controlled purchase made by TRIDENT officers. Leon-Legarda was arrested at his residence, 1103 Willow Way, Glenwood Springs, without incident.
In the course of the investigation TRIDENT officers were able to identify Jurado’s source of cocaine in the Carbondale area.
Also on Nov. 18, with the assistance of the Garfield County All Hazards Response Team, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Carbondale Police Department and the Glenwood Springs Police Department, TRIDENT served a search warrant at the Mountain Valley trailer park, 0171 Highway 133 #D4, Carbondale. At the residence TRIDENT officers located 76.8 grams of cocaine (2.7 ounces), 203.5 grams (approximately 7 ounces), of cutting agent used to dilute the purity of cocaine, and evidence of narcotics packaging and distribution.
TRIDENT officers also located hidden throughout the residence $20,531 in cash, suspected narcotics proceeds. As a result of the items found in the residence, Homero Gonzalez-Mendoza was arrested.
Jurado, 25, was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), a class 4 felony; six counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, a class 3 felony; six counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, a class 3 felony; and six counts of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, also a class 3 felony.
Also arrested was Gonzalez-Mendoza, 36, of Carbondale. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute; Leon-Legarda, 36, of Glenwood Springs, was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine; Barragan-Valerio, 28, of Glenwood Springs, was charged with possession and intent to distribute cocaine and introduction of contraband in the first degree, a class 4 felony.
Class 3 felonies carry a range of 2-24 years in prison and $3,000-$750,000 in fines. A Class 4 felony carries a range of 1-12 years in prison and $2,000-$500,000 in fines.
TRIDENT 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 call TRIDENT at 945-8790.
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