DENVER — The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced Friday 54 heroin-related arrests in the in the Denver area.
The three-month investigation began in May and targeted drug traffickers who were in the country illegally.
“In the past several years, much of the heroin resurgence in the Denver area can be traced to criminal aliens smuggling, transporting and distributing this illegal drug,” said David A. Thompson, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “The resources, expertise and law enforcement authorities of our law enforcement partners effectively worked as force multipliers in this operation.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says out of the 54 arrested, more than 20 were previously deported. Criminals who re-enter the country can face prison times of up to 20 years.
ICE provided the following examples of those arrested in the Colorado sting:
- A group of five Honduran men were arrested in Denver, just days before the official launch of this operation; four are pending federal charges for heroin distribution; two were also charged with felony re-entry after deportation.
- A 30-year-old man and previously removed aggravated felon from Honduras was arrested June 15 in Denver. He was convicted on two counts of distributing a controlled substance and sentenced to four- and five-year prison terms to run concurrently. New heroin distribution charges are pending against him, as well as charges for aggravated re-entry after deportation.
- A 20-year-old man and ICE fugitive from Honduras was arrested June 15 in Aurora. He was convicted for “assault 3-causing injury and child abuse.” He is pending federal charges for heroin distribution.
- A 28-year-old man previously removed aggravated felon from Honduras was arrested June 16 in Denver. He had been twice convicted of possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute (heroin). New heroin distribution charges are pending against him, as well as charges for aggravated re-entry after deportation.
- A 25-year-old man previously removed aggravated felon from Honduras was arrested July 13 in Brighton. He was convicted in 2012 of transporting a controlled substance (heroin). He is pending six new heroin-related drug charges and pending federal charges for aggravated re-entry after deportation.