By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Twenty-three people were indicted on 37 counts for their role in running a large-scale, Denver-based heroin trafficking organization. According to the Denver Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, a husband-wife team was at the center of the heroin organization.

According to the DEA, Azusena Maribel Sierra and her husband Juan Antonio Amaya-Nunez, with Sierra as the heroin dispatcher and money collector, the organization distributed about 1 kilogram of heroin every week.

(credit: ThinkStock)

The investigation was initiated in September 2019. Agents and officers seized approximately 33 kilograms of heroin, about $100,000 in cash and two firearms.

Sierra and Amaya-Nunez face charges including conspiracy to distribute heroin, money laundering, transporting heroin in aid of racketeering, and using telephones in connection with drug trafficking.

of the 23 indicted, 14 defendants have been arrested and have made their initial appearances in U.S. District Court. Nine other defendants are pending arrest and are considered fugitives.

“Thanks to the great work of the DEA and our team, we’ve dismantled a significant drug trafficking organization in the metro-area,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn in a statement. “While others may seek to fill the newly created vacuum, they are on notice that we will come for them with the same zeal that we pursued these defendants.”

“Taking down an organization like this and removing a pipeline of this magnitude can only be accomplished with our law enforcement partners,” said Deanne Reuter, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Denver Field Division, in a statement. “As long as this poison continues to wreak havoc in our communities the DEA will find those responsible and hold them to account.”

Jennifer McRae

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