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  1. buseman
    BOULDER — A Boulder District judge on Wednesday morning unsealed a Boulder County grand jury 127-count indictment of 17 people suspected of running a major cocaine and methamphetamine ring in Longmont.

    Three of those people have been arrested and appeared in court Wednesday morning, when Boulder District Judge Maria Berkenkotter unsealed the indictment detailing a complex drug enterprise.

    Those indicted are Alyssa Kurtz, 24; James Romero, 25; Aaron Waddell, 39; Mary Moritz, 48; Michelle Grube, 43; Tristan Jackson, 35; Bonnie Miller, 23; Eddy Peter, 40; David Smith, 50; Sue Romo, 48; Robert Heblinger, 41; Deeann Heblinger, 48; James Vester, 23; Nicholas Montano, 25; Dustin Zavala, 22; Kerri McKelvy, 30; and Robert Gutierrez, 32.

    Longmont Police Cmdr. Tim Lewis said the investigation and indictment are expected to make a major impact in Longmont.

    This group had access to pounds and pounds of methamphetamine and kilos and kilos of cocaine here in town at all times, he said.

    He added that most drug ring investigations typically lead to tiers of authority outside of town, but this investigation remained local. Some of the suspects had been the focus of other investigations, but their organization kept them insulated from earlier prosecutions, Lewis said.

    This one is all Longmont-based. These people have been embedded in the fabric of our community for a long time doing criminal activities, he said.

    Charges include organized crime, drug distribution and possession, conspiracy to distribute and possess drugs, and firearms violations.

    Kurtz and Romero — who are central figures in the indictment — and Zavala have been arrested so far.

    Zavala’s bond was reduced from $250,000 to $50,000 after prosecutor Ken Kupfner did not raise an objection, noting that Zavala’s role was relatively minor in the enterprise. However, Kupfner argued that Romero was a primary player and said he was carrying a half pound of methamphetamine at the time of his arrest.

    This is a significant quantity of a hard-core drug, Kupfner said. Mr. Romero did transaction after transaction after transaction.

    Romero’s bond was not reduced from $250,000.

    Those named in the 71-page indictment — portions of which were redacted — are suspected of various levels of participating in a drug ring dedicated to buying, selling and trading cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana in business parking lots, at Kurtz and Romero’s home and at other locations in and around Longmont, according to the indictment.

    The evidence in this case is the result of thorough and tenacious officers, who put together a well-executed undercover operation that resulted in the arrest of these individuals, who are alleged to have been involved in a well organized crime ring in our community, Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said in a prepared statement.

    The investigation into the drug ring began in October 2009 and included Longmont police, the Boulder County Drug Task Force and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

    Lewis said work continues on the case.

    It is still an active ongoing investigation, and this is just the tip of the iceberg locally, he said.

    6/10/2010
    http://www.timescall.com/news_story.asp?ID=22343

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