DENVER (CBS4) – Drugs, gangs, guns and stolen cars are part of a massive suspect roundup going on across the Denver metro area Thursday, according to police.
The effort is being called Operation Tattletale, and it follows a nine-month investigation by the North Metro Drug Task Force, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Agency and auto theft strike teams.
SWAT teams from multiple jurisdictions across the metro area began arresting suspects at 6 a.m. Thursday as part of the operation. Homes were raided from Westminster to Thornton to Arapahoe County, and some of the operation involves activities in Mexico.
“It’s definitely weird to have SWAT team in neighborhood at 6 a.m.,” neighbor Derek Bell said. “I heard flash bangs and doors being knocked down.”
Police say their effort is to get dozens of people in custody as part of the operation. Of those, 13 suspects are being indicted on racketeering charges.
Five of the people targeted in the operation are already in custody, and two of those are suspected criminals whose names have been in the news in recent months.
Felix Trujillo is the Denver Jail inmate who escaped from that facility after he told CBS4 he got help from a deputy inside. It was the first jailbreak in the history of the facility. Police say he was involved in the drug running.
STORY ARCHIVE: Felix Trujillo
The other suspect in the takedown who has made news is Clifford Galley. Galley was part of a police pursuit in February spanning from Castle Rock to Parker. That night, police cars were rammed and multiple officers were injured.
Police say the ring purchased and sold methamphetamine and cocaine. Between 3 and 4 pounds of meth have been seized, as well as 3 to 4 pounds of cocaine.
Police told CBS4 the suspects had involvement from an internal and external prison gang called Los Premieros Padres. There was also some participation from the 211 Crew, of which suspected murdered Evan Ebel was allegedly a member.
STORY ARCHIVE: Evan Ebel
The crime ring also involved stolen cars from all over the metro area. The cars were reportedly being used as a form of payment for the drugs. A total of 36 cars have been seized so far.
Police say the criminals were taking the cars and taking them apart and exchanging the parts for drugs.
“Specifically cars that are puffing, running in the morning. They get in and they leave with the car and they try to get them sold or try to do something with those vehicles to get money,” Jerry Peters with North Metro Drug Task Force said.
LINK: Read The News Release