See 17 Indicted in Violent Meth Ring: Kidnapping, Sex Assault and More

Last August, we told you about disturbing accusations against four men — Edgar Barroso, Steven Hillen, Juvenal Tamayo and Pedro Valdez — on suspicion of kidnapping and sexual assault.

They were accused of holding several women hostage for at least a day and possibly more. During that period, crimes against the victims were said to have included forced stripping and drug-taking, a pistol-whipping, and threats to kill them illustrated by a gun placed in one victim's mouth and a display of loaded syringes.

As described, the crimes were horrendous — and, allegedly, just the tip of the iceberg.

According to the Denver District Attorney's Office, detectives investigating these crimes suspected that Barroso and company were part of a larger enterprise. Now, a Denver grand jury has indicted the four plus thirteen others — a total of seventeen — in a 46-count indictment put forward under the umbrella of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act.

The indictment, on view below, maintains that the group worked together to distribute methamphetamine and heroin at several houses in the Denver area — and committed plenty of atrocities along the way.

As we reported, Denver police first learned about the aforementioned hostage situation at about 5:30 a.m. on Friday, August 14. They were informed by a woman who'd made her way to Denver Health.

According to her, she had gone to the Breakfast King restaurant the previous morning, where she was kidnapped at gunpoint.

From there, she said, she was taken to a home on the 1200 block of Mariposa Street, where another woman was already being held captive.

Why? The indictment says Barroso suspected the two women of stealing meth while they were staying at Hillen's place, at 1201 South Mariposa.

Upon their arrival at the Mariposa residence, Hillen allegedly helped bind the women with duct tape — but he wasn't sure why he was bothering. The report quotes him as saying, "Let's just kill these bitches. They know too much."

The women weren't slain, but Barroso (in the company of Hillen, Tamayo and Valdez) is said to have struck them with his gun before driving them to his home, at 567 South Eliot. Valdez also brought another woman suspected of drug theft to the residence, the indictment says, but Barroso eventually allowed her to leave. Before she did so, though, he allegedly said, "If I hear you told anybody, I'm going to come and kill your family."

Presumably, this woman is the one who alerted the police about what was happening, and the other women were found in Barroso's garage before even more damage could be done to them. But after being jailed, Barroso allegedly wanted revenge. He's accused of trying to arrange a hit on the women, telling someone whose name is blotted out in the document that if he did the deed, he would take care of him — and even arrange for him to get "a Mexican Mafia tattoo."

The indictment makes it clear that these offenses didn't qualify as isolated incidents.

Between July 29 and August 8, the document says, three people arrived at Barroso's place to buy drugs — and, as in the account above, he subsequently announced that he suspected one of them of ripping him off.

The crimes that followed allegedly included Barroso striking a woman in the nose with the back of a shotgun; he and Sara Montes, another person named in the indictment, beating a woman to get information before restraining her with duct tape; and forcing a woman to give him oral sex.

And then there's a scene straight out of a Quentin Tarantino movie. Another indictee, Eric Pinedo, apparently asked permission from Barroso to use duct tape to bind a woman he felt had disrespected him. After getting the go-ahead, he duct-taped her entire head, from her chin to the top of her head. As a result, her mouth and nose were covered so completely that she stopped breathing until Barroso came in and cut an air hole.

"What the fuck?" Barroso is quoted as asking. "I told you just to duct tape her mouth only."

The indictment contains accounts of more acts along these lines  — assault, robbery and witness intimidation among them — allegedly committed by Barroso and others; they're detailed beginning on page 24 of the document. Check it out below, along with mug shots for sixteen of the seventeen people indicted: Raquel Avila, Anthony Gonzales, Eugenio Juarez, Rachel Kautz, Emilio Masias, Steven Miramontes, Eulices Murillo, Aryana Oliver, Leroy Oliver, Carlos Tiznado and John Vega, plus Barroso, Tamayo, Valdez, Hillen, Montes and Pinedo.

Continue to see photos of the other people indicted in the drug ring, plus the indictment.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts