DENVER (AP/CBS4) — Federal and Colorado authorities say they’ve stopped a major methamphetamine ring that imported a liquid version of the drug from Mexico in factory-sealed drink bottles and windshield wiper fluid.
The indictments of 15 people accused of participating in the ring were announced Thursday in Denver. Eleven have been arrested and the others are still being sought.
Barbra Roach of the Drug Enforcement Administration says about 35 pounds of liquid meth brought to Colorado through El Paso, Texas and San Diego. Once in Colorado, the liquid, colored to look like an energy drink, was turned into crystalized meth.
“It was determined that the bottle was destined for Denver,” said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.
Federal agents said that bottle was filled with 90 percent pure liquid meth.
“Which is unique and certainly very powerful. Folks at street level may not know how pure the drug is that they’re injecting,” said DEA Strike Force Agent Rob Saccone.
A 16-ounce bottle of liquid meth has a street value of $6,000.
Two kilograms of cocaine was also found in the oil pan of a Jeep Wrangler headed from Cuidad Juarez to Denver during the investigation, nicknamed “Thirst Quencher”.
It was also being hidden in the windshield wiper tanks inside another vehicle. Agents found six liters of the liquid meth stashed in the wiper fluid tank of a Chevy Tahoe stopped in Frisco.
The DEA said the organization in charge of the drug trafficking is headed up by two brothers, Jose and Jesus Vargus-Gonzales.
“The organization is linked to a very powerful and feared cartel called the Nights Templar,” said DEA Special Agent In Charge Barbara Roach.
Much of the meth was found inside a Denver apartment waiting for distribution. It was there that agents seized 10 pounds of meth, 1.5 kilos of cocaine and $80,000 of drug money.
Now the DEA is tracking down who factory sealed those bottles of liquid meth.
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