Drugs, cash and guns seized, 14 arrested in meth bust

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. - Authorities say they seized drugs, cash and guns and arrested 14 people from Durango to Las Vegas in what's being called a "long term investigation of a methamphetamine distribution organization."

"This Drug Trafficking Organization had confirmed connections to Las Vegas NV, California and into high level Mexican drug cartel subjects," authorities with the Southwest Drug Task Force said in a news release.

Those authorities said the investigation centered on Joseph Fitapelli, 58, of Bayfield. 

Investigators said when Fitapelli was arrested, he was in possession of $8,000 to $10,000 in cash.

Investigators also said when they arrested two people on March 11, they found approximately four pounds of suspected methamphetamine they believe was destined for Fitapelli.

During the investigation, officers in Durango, La Plata County, Cortez, Montezuma County and San Juan County, New Mexico arrested a total of 14 people, seized 10 pounds of meth with a street value of $450,000, and also seized suspected stolen guns and stolen property.

Investigators said more arrests are expected. 

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