Authorities say bust should put drug dealers “on notice”

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By The Staff

    AURORA — Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and local law enforcement agencies said they arrested 75 people Thursday and plan to charge a total of 97 individuals in connection with what they called “the largest mass drug arrest in Colorado history.”

    Authorities seized 12 weapons, including an SKS assault rifle and an AR-15 assault rifle, handguns, a pound of methamphetamine, more than $415,000 in cash, more than 26,000 grams of cocaine and 1,000 grams of crack and a pound of methamphetamine.
    One of the targeted houses was in Brighton, near 13th Avenue and Voiles Street. Brighton Police Department John Bradley would not release any history about recent activity about the house, citing department policy. Another house was in Commerce City in the 15000 block of Chambers Road in the Reunion neighborhood.
    “We are collectively doing our very best to make our neighborhoods a safe place to raise a family,” Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr said. “The local groups and drug dealers should be on notice. If they are involved in gang violence and illegal drug trafficking, we will take the necessary legal actions to stop them.”
    More than 500 officers and agents worked together to take down four drug ring distribution organizations. A federal grand jury returned seven indictments in Denver.
In addition to Thursday’s arrests, 25 gang members and associates were charged for their part in 16 violent take-over bank robberies.
    “This combined enforcement action to take down four separate but related investigations demonstrates the coordinated strength and professionalism of federal, state and local law enforcement working together in metro Denver,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “These results could not have been done without the hundreds of members of our law enforcement family. Today, our streets are safer, and the drug trade in Colorado has suffered a massive blow.”
    If convicted, most of the federally charged defendants face federal sentences of not less than 10 years and up to life, plus fines of not more than $10 million.
    The latest bust came only weeks after local authorities teamed up on Operation Sweet Leaf, which disrupted dozens of marijuana grow operations across the metro area.