If the Jefferson County DA's office is right, some of the sixteen people indicted in a drug ring bust weren't satisfied with dealing meth and cocaine. They were also allegedly involved with an illegal cockfighting operation featuring seventy roosters plus accoutrements that allowed the birds to slash the hell out of each other for gamblers' entertainment. Details below.
The investigation began in May 2012, with law enforcers from various agencies zeroing in on a crew suspected of trafficking drugs in Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Edgewater, Aurora and Denver. But the narcotics didn't originate in those locations. The cocaine being peddled is believed to have come from California, while the meth is thought to have traveled here from Arizona.
There was plenty of both, as well as lots more. In June, $21,500 in cash believed to have been generated by meth sales in Lakewood was seized during a traffic stop on Interstate 70 in Summit County; the currency was apparently headed to Arizona. A few months later, in September, investigators seized two kilos of cocaine and stopped what's described as "an illicit transaction" in Denver. And the next month, cops seized around twelve pounds of meth en route from Arizona to Wheat Ridge.
This evidence was more than enough to convince a Jefferson County grand jury to return a 49-count indictment against thirteen men and three women in late November. The document, on view below, accuses the group of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act via the distribution of controlled substances.
The grand jury's blessing preceded coordinated raids in multiple Denver-area locations, plus Tucson and San Bernardino, California, on December 6. And at one in Lakewood, authorities found something unexpected -- seventy roosters, a "training ring" and what appeared to be cockfighting accessories like razors and eye protection.
Hence, the catchy name for the investigation and its aftermath: Operation Blood Sport.
Of the sixteen people indicted, ten of them have been arrested, while six are still on the loose.
Continue to see photos of the suspects in custody and at large, plus the indictment and a video. The following six suspects remain at large. Their photos are followed by shots of the ten in custody.
Continue to see the photos of the ten suspects in custody, plus a video and the indictment. The following ten suspects are in custody. Continue to see a video and the indictment. Video courtesy of 9News.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Michael McCullar, 11 others, sentenced in violent Adams County meth ring (PHOTOS)."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.