Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has announced the bust of an alleged nine-member drug ring, in which suspects such as Ramon Chavez and Gabriel Farias-Chavez are said to have transported up to fifty pounds of meth per month from Mexico into Colorado. Their storage container of choice? Working car batteries. Photos below.
The main indictment is a hefty document, taking 34 pages to list 25 separate counts against the alleged co-conspirators, along with 37 predicate acts detailing reported money laundering and more. Here's the narrative listing "The Enterprise:"
The enterprise alleged in counts one and two was primarily a group of individuals, associated in fact, although not a legal entity. The enterprise included, but was not limited to, the following associated in fact individuals and/or legal entities: Gabrial Farias-Chavez, Ramon Chavez, Juan Ortiz, Arnoldo Alvarez-Gonzalez, aka "Monra," Gilbert Garcia, Carrie Holme, Jacquelyn Allen and others both known and unknown to the Grand Jury. The individuals associated with the enterprise had a primary objective and a common purpose which centered around an orchestrated scheme of distributing large quantities of methamphetamine, a Schedule II Controlled Substance, in and around the Metropolitan Denver area and in Northern Colorado. The conduct of the enterprise was to buy, sell, and trade methamphetamine. Gabriel Farias-Chavez and Ramon Chavez functioned as the leaders of this organization and supervised the distribution of methamphetamine to their runners and the collection of money owed to the organization. The leaders of this criminal enterprise relied upon and used a system of phones and other telecommunication facilities to arrange and execute methamphetamine for cash deals with a network of lower level runners and other dealers. Furthermore, members of the criminal enterprise often utilized coded terminology when speaking to each other on the telephone in order to conceal their criminal activities.
Predicate act 37 provides details with a further charge:
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On Jly 27, 2010, the residence of Ramon Chavez at 3410 S. Platte River Drive, Apartment #3109, Englewood, CO was searched by law enforcement officers pursuant to a search warrant. In the closet of the bedroom utilized by Ramon Chavez, officers located an AC Delco car battery. Subsequently, officers located approximately 10.5 pounds of methamphetamine within the AC Delco car battery. The officers then sized the methamphetamine which was field tested and showed a presumptive positive result for amphetamines.
Click to check out three documents from the Larimer County Sheriffs Office: a Gabriel Farias-Chavez fact sheet, a Ramon Chavez fact sheet and a Carrie Holme fact sheet. And page down to see full-sized mug shots of this trio, as well as a release from the Colorado AG's office and photos of the battery in question.
Attorney General announces indictment of nine men suspected of trafficking meth in Denver, northern Colorado
DENVER -- Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that his office has secure an indictment for Gabriel Farias-Chavez (DOB: 3/15/1983) and Ramon Chavez (DOB: 3/5/1980) and the members of a methamphetamine trafficking ring suspected of moving up to 50 pounds worth of the drug per month into the Denver metro area and other parts of the state between March 1, 2010 and July 15, 2010.
"Methamphetamine has inflicted a staggering toll on Coloradans and communities throughout the state," Suthers said. "Through the collaboration of my office, the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force and Drug Enforcement Administration, we have disrupted a large-scale drug-trafficking organization. Shutting down this drug-trafficking ring will take a large quantity of this dangerous and destructive drug off the streets and out of Colorado communities."
"During an eight-month investigation conducted by the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force, detectives learned that the Farias-Chavez drug trafficking organization was responsible for importing as much as 30 to 50 pounds of methamphetamine per month directly from Mexico into the Denver-metro area and Larimer County," said Sgt. Gary Shaklee of the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force. "This organization utilized a highly sophisticated concealment method of secreting methamphetamine in functioning car batteries to transport the drugs into the country. Once the drugs arrived in Colorado, a cutting agent was added which could easily double or triple the amount of methamphetamine hitting our streets. We believe the dismantling of this organization definitely will impact the short-term availability of methamphetamine in our communities."
Prosecutors also indicted Juan Ortiz (DOB: 7/20/1972), Arnoldo "Monra" Alvarez-Gonzalez (DOB: 10/23/1978), Gilbert Garcia (DOB: 7/15/1981), Jacquelyn Allen (DOB: 3/30/1981), Carrie Holme (DOB: 12/28/1979), David Crank (DOB: 7/14/1977) and Juan Lopez-Baltazar (DOB: 5/25/1982) for their suspected roles in assisting in the trafficking of methamphetamine.
The Office of the Attorney General obtained the indictment with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force. Prosecutors from the Office of the Attorney General and the Larimer County District Attorney's Office will present their cases against the defendants in Larimer County District Court.
On the next pages, find the battery photos: