Two more suspects arrested in suspected drug ring | PostIndependent.com

Two more suspects arrested in suspected drug ring

Tatiana Flowers
tflowers@postindependent.com

Area law enforcement officials arrested two men on May 30 who are accused of selling methamphetamine to officers during an ongoing sting operation.

The Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT) and the Garfield County Sheriff's Office's Threat Assessment Group (TAG) led the operation, which they say started with Abran Gutierrez, who was subsequently arrested, and is charged with two crimes related to distributing methamphetamine, and resisting arrest.

A second suspect, Luis Arredondo-Montes, was also arrested during the operation and is charged with two crimes related to distributing methamphetamine.

Earlier in May, Jose and Agustin Flores-Alba, brothers suspected of leading the drug ring, were arrested and were held on more than $500,000 bail between them.

According to the Garfield County Sheriff's Office's database, Agustin is now free on bail.

According to arrest affidavits, a confidential source started providing information to authorities about Jose Flores-Alba in June 2017, offering to arrange multiple sting operations between the drug trafficker and law enforcement authorities, according to court documents.

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The source, referred to as "CS" in court papers, had been leaking information to authorities about other drug dealers since July 2016, in exchange for money and judicial consideration in his or her own pending drug distribution charge.

Court papers say "CS" was introduced to Flores-Alba by another drug trafficking associate.

During the course of the investigation, TRIDENT says it purchased about two pounds (or 940 grams) of methamphetamine, three ounces (or 88.5 grams) of cocaine, and one ounce (or 26.1 grams) of heroin from the Flores-Alba team.

Each time officers seized drugs, they tested and placed them in temporary storage lockers as evidence, they say.

Two 9th Judicial District court judges gave permission to intercept nine different oral, electronic or wire communication devices that belonged to the Flores-Albas to help with the investigation, and the additional surveillance allowed officers to confiscate an additional 127 grams of cocaine during a traffic stop, in which the Flores-Albas were caught traveling over the speed limit, and in possession of drugs, according to case files.

They are both charged with almost 10 crimes related to distributing various drugs.