3 arrested and 4 others detained in search of suspected drug home near private school in Longmont

LONGMONT, Colo. - Three people were arrested and four others were detained when a SWAT team executed a search warrant at a suspected drug house Friday morning.

Det. Cmdr. Jeff Satur, of the Longmont Police Department, said officers suspected drugs were being sold out of the small home at 330 Collyer St.

Because the search warrant was considered "high risk," the nearby St. John the Baptist School was put on "lockout" as a precaution during the operation.

According to Satur, one of the people taken into custody Friday was also arrested last year during a bust called "Operation Bad Cowboy." That man, Merce Gonzales, 49, was arrested for distribution of schedule II controlled substance, possession of schedule II controlled substance and sales within 1000 yards of a school.

"Everybody knows him. We knew where he lived and we watched, and it didn't take him long to start up his business again," said Commander Satur.

Gonzales has several prior arrests for larceny and posession.

Neighbors in the area said there's constant activity in the home. Robb Shimp lives next door and said he's heard fights and had people knock on his door, looking for Merce.

"Your first instinct is sell the house, move, go somewhere you don't have to worry about it, but at the same time that's how neighborhoods get taken over, said Shimp. "Unless things get a whole lot worse we'll still probably be here, hopefully we'll be able to outlast them ."
 

Ralph Nunez, 73, was arrested for possession of schedule II controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Satur did not have his photo to release.

The third person arrested, Matthew Starin, 20, was arrested for a pawn broker violation.

Satur said the four others who were detained will not be facing charges. They've all been released.

 

Editor's note: Satur originally told 7NEWS that a total of 9 people were detained.