Weekend law-enforcement push in Mesa county nets drugs, stolen vehicles, fugitives

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A large-scale law-enforcement operation in Mesa County over the weekend showed how important traffic stops are in law enforcement, the Colorado State Patrol said Sunday.

Between Friday morning and Saturday night, Colorado State Patrol Troopers hosted a multi-jurisdictional operation with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office and the Grand Junction and Fruita police departments.  The operation had a two-pronged purpose:  to interdict criminal activity such as auto theft and drug trafficking and to encourage safe driving behaviors through strict enforcement of traffic laws.

During the operation, law enforcement stopped and arrested the drivers of two stolen vehicles, arrested four fugitives and confiscated 92 pounds of pot.

The Colorado State Patrol provided this breakdown:

1)  Troopers contacted 336 motorists for 393 violations of traffic and criminal laws.  236 motorists were contacted as a result of dangerous or improper driving behavior.

2)  Troopers located and arrested the drivers of two stolen vehicles.

3)  A Trooper detected and confiscated 92 pounds of high-grade marijuana concealed in a vehicle and packaged for distribution.

4)  Troopers located and arrested four fugitives on Colorado State Patrol warrants for multiple DUI violations, habitual traffic offenses, careless driving causing death, and criminally negligent child abuse.

5)  Troopers seized a vehicle with a false compartment designed to transport methamphetamine.

6)  Troopers seized a stolen handgun with an altered serial number.

7)  Eight people were arrested for drug/alcohol violations.

8)  106 drivers were cited--including a reckless driver traveling more than 110 miles-per-hour and forcing vehicles off the roadway. 

"With our law enforcement partners in Mesa County, Troopers made a focused effort to protect Colorado motorists, while holding accountable those who would endanger them," said Major Matt Packard of the Colorado State Patrol's Criminal Investigations Branch.  "We are determined to cease the use of our roadways in the furtherance of criminal activity and unsafe behaviors."

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