Residents of Cotopaxi, CO were recently surprised by helicopters flying over head and many riot gear donned law enforcement officers on the ground in their quiet mountain town about 50 miles west of Canon City.
According to Capt. Jeff Worley with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department, this was just one (photo below) of eight properties raided in southern Colorado on Tuesday as part of a joint operation with several law enforcement agencies. All raided properties, some of which extended as far south as Westcliffe, were allegedly involved in an illegal cannabis-shipping ring routed from Colorado to Florida.
Antonio Mayers of Cotopaxi reported that he watched law enforcement fill several Penske trucks before leaving one raided property. Reports show that these raids yielded 1,200 packaged grams of ready-to-ship cannabis, at least 50 pounds of prepared marijuana flowers, 28 guns and $25,000 cash.
The District of Colorado’s U.S. Attorney’s Office reports that 17 of the 20 suspects have been arrested, and officials are still searching for the other three. All suspects are being held on a variety of drug trafficking charges that could lead to sentences ranging from 10 years to life in federal prison.
The group reportedly used UPS to ship each package, and it is suspected that more than 1,000 plants were shipped from Colorado to Florida before authorities made arrests.
This was one of more than a dozen Drug Enforcement Agency assisted raids conducted in Colorado this year. A judge is expected to determine sometime this week whether any of the defendants will be released on bond.