17 arrested in Boulder County raids targetting international drug trafficking operation

10 homes raided in Boulder, Longmont

BOULDER, Colo. - Local and federal law enforcement officers arrested 17 suspects and raided 10 homes in Boulder County Thursday in what authorities call the takedown of an international cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking operation.

Two-hundred officers from the Boulder County Drug Task Force, local police agencies and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration executed search warrants at four homes in the City of Boulder and six more in Longmont, the task force said in a news release.

Authorities said the crackdown was the culmination of a 10-month investigation into the ring that was smuggling drugs from Mexico into Boulder County.

"Thanks to the hard work of the Boulder County Drug Task Force and its members, including the Boulder District Attorney's Office, those suspects who sold cocaine and methamphetamine are being held criminally accountable for their conduct," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.

During the raids, authorities seized of significant amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine along with cash, guns and vehicles.

"This investigation was brought to a successful conclusion this morning with the arrests of the criminal group's leaders responsible for importing cocaine and methamphetamines from Mexico to Boulder," said Keith Weis, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA's Denver field office.

"Colorado’s northern communities are better off today because of this highly coordinated effort," he added.

Authorities have arrested 17 of 25 suspects wanted on arrest warrants that include felony charges for drug possession, drug possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy.

Those arrested Thursday, include:

  • Alejandro Flores Gallegos                     
  • Anahi Lopez                                        
  • Cesar Dominguez Lopez                    
  • Curtis Seth Lawson                             
  • Efrain Rios-Alcantar                           
  • Ernesto Valles-Rivas                           
  • Jaime Varela                                      
  • Jonathan Padilla-Martinez                 
  • Manuel Pinto-Martinez                     
  • Misty Sweeten                                  
  • Patrick Wascher                               
  • Salvador Hernandez Jr.                      
  • Sergio Liberato Lopez                        
  • Yolanda Barraza-Castillo        
  • Eric Medina Perez                   
  • Jonathan Tinker                       
  • Chris Ramirez                          

Besides the Boulder County Drug Task Force and DEA, other agencies involved in the raids were: the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, Larimer County Sheriff's Office, Broomfield Police Department, Boulder Police Department, Erie Police Department, Frederick Police Department, Fort Collins Police Department, Lafayette Police Department, Longmont Police Department, Louisville Police Department, University of Colorado Police Department, Immigration Custom Enforcement, Boulder County Health and Human Services and the Weld County Drug Task Force.

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