A total of 20 now indicted in Western Slope Drug Ring

DENVER – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced the arrest of seven additional defendants in an on-going investigation involving the distribution of methamphetamine and heroin on the Western Slope. The following defendants were arrested and made their initial appearance in federal court in Denver and Grand Junction this week:

Daniel Gastelo-Ochoa, 32 of Denver
Carlos Quijano-Ruiz, 52 of Montrose
Rafael Jaramillo-Hernandez, 32 of Montrose
Catyria Gisela Lopez-Gomez, 41 of Fort Collins
Margarita Jaquelin Cruz-Gomez, 35 of Montrose
Dalilah Suarez-Lopez, 23 of Fort Collins, and
Carlos Aurelio Beltran-Gonzalez, 32 of Montrose

These indiiduals were charged in a superseding indictment, which brought allegations against these defendants in addition to thirteen others previously charged in December of 2019.

According to the superseding indictment, from January 1, 2019, through December 18, 2019, Daniel Gastelo-Ochoa, Carlos Quijano-Ruiz, Rafael Jaramillo-Hernandez, Catyria Gisela Lopez-Gomez, as well as the thirteen previously charged defendants, conspired with each other to distribute methamphetamine and heroin. If convicted, each defendant faces a minimum of 10 years, and up to life in federal prison.

In addition to the drug conspiracy charge, Carlos Quijano-Ruiz, Rafael Jaramillo-Hernandez, Catyria Gisela Lopez-Gomez, as well as Margarita Jaquelin Cruz-Gomez, Dalilah Suarez-Lopez, Carlos Aurelio Beltran-Gonzalez, and other persons, conspired with each other to conduct and attempt to conduct financial transactions involving the proceeds of illegal drug distribution. Further, these financial transactions were designed in whole or in part to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the proceeds. If convicted, each defendant faces not more than 20 years in federal prison.

The allegations in the superseding indictment are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This investigation was conducted by the Denver Division of the DEA, the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, and the Montrose Police Department, as well as representatives from the 7th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Phillips is handling this prosecution.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Case number: 19-cr-00535 CMA-GPG

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