DENVER (CBS4) – The suspects involved in one of the biggest meth rings in state history used cellphones to communicate with each other and developed code words for the drug.
Authorities announced the bust of the ring on Monday, and referred to their actions as Operation Cargo. The takedown netted 55 pounds of methamphetamine, and some of it was sold out of a taco truck on Federal Boulevard near 8th.
Colorado’s attorney general says the drug trafficking was organized by Juan Carlos Gonzlez.
“We’ve identified this as a family-run organization,” Attorney General John Suthers said. “Mr. Gonzalez was the main kingpin, his two aunts were very much a part of the organization.”
“This is nasty stuff, this is 99 percent pure methamphetamine, very addictive,” Suthers said.
A large load was found hidded inside a Mini Cooper that agents say was driven by Oscar Ruvalcaba. He allegedly made trips to Mexico to buy the drugs and then drove them through California and into Colorado.
“That car was stopped and some 40 some pounds were seized from the engine area of that car where he had it disguised,” Suthers said.
A five-week investigation with wiretaps found that the suspects often spoke in code over the phone. Orders for meth were reffered to as a “six pack,” a “double” and “yellow cups.”
Suthers says the Operation Cargo may have been successful, but the amount of meth seized with a street value of at least $750,000 means drug cartels have apparently found a strong market for it here in the Denver area.
“It speaks to fairly widespread availability, it speaks to fairly widespread demand,” he said.
In addition to Gonzlez and Ruvalcaba, police have arrested 13 other suspects.
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Two male suspects remain at large. Anyone with information about where James Loeffler and Patrick Lorenzo may be are asked to contact the DEA at 720-895-4139.