Federal agents made a major breakthrough in a long-term operation that targeted heroin trafficking in and around Denver. The three-month long operation culminated in the arrest of 54 individuals. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency undertaking the operation, was specifically targeting immigrants who were in Colorado illegally.
According to the press release from the agency itself, this is the first operation of its kind in Colorado, focusing on heroin trafficking specifically by illegal immigrants in the state. The release quoted an ICE special agent saying, “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.”
The report also mentioned that several of the individuals who were arrested had already been charged with prior drug crimes and returned to the Denver area after having been deported. While authorities did admit to having seized a quantity of heroin in the course of the operation, the report did not specify how much was seized.
The upcoming months and years will be very difficult ones for those who have been charged in the operation. It is still unknown the level of involvement of all those who have been charged, and what factors may affect their trials. All of these individuals will want to consider their next steps very carefully. The representation of a qualified, experienced defense attorney can mean the difference between a second chance to make good choices and contribute to the community or being locked away from those they love or deported from the country entirely.
Source: Denver Post, “Feds targeting heroin trafficking in Denver area make 54 arrests,” KIERAN NICHOLSON, Sep. 23, 2016