Commerce City – The ring used tour buses to smuggle marijuana into the country from Mexico. Over 45,000 pounds were transported over the course of 11 months according to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.
The investigation began May of 2010. A grand jury returned a 93-count indictment naming 23 suspects on June 3rd.
In order to smuggle the marijuana, the bricks were compressed and then hidden underneath the bus in specialized compartments. Carrying approximately 400 lbs per bus, the vehicles were unloaded twice a week at a Warehouse in Commerce City.
Authorities in the investigation seized over $134,000 in cash, 14 vehicles, seven firearms, 2 kilograms of cocaine worth approx. $64,000 and 53 grams of methamphetamine worth approx. $3,200.
Running the local operation is suspected to be Conrado Arellano-Casas, 32. A search warrant of his residence in Arvada turned up a AK-47 rifle and $30,000 in cash. The Unites States leader is though to be Jose Jimenez-Chacon, 30. Jimenez-Chacon is under custody of the DEA.
It is estimated that 75% of the marijuana sold was distributed in the Denver Area.
18 of the 23 people indicted are arrested, five are still at large and believed to be in Mexico.
As a former Assistant U.S Attorney, I have had experience in many cases like these. These are very serious charges and if you are accused of a federal crime, you will need a very good attorney experienced in federal criminal charges. As an Assistant District Attorney, I tried over 70 criminal jury trials, ranging from murder, armed robbery, sexual assaults of adults and children and kidnapping, to DUI, assault and simple drug possession.