Officers seize $50,000 in cocaine

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— A brother and sister from Tempe, Ariz., were arrested over the weekend in Steamboat Springs after they allegedly tried to sell $50,000 worth of cocaine to an undercover officer.

Martha Arreguin, 19, and Gerardo "Gary" Arreguin, 27, were arrested around 1 p.m. Saturday at the Holiday Inn parking lot after allegedly selling 11 ounces of cocaine to an undercover officer from the Grant, Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team (GRAMNET), said Dwight Murphy, task force commander.

The Steamboat Springs Police Department had an instrumental role in the arrests, Murphy said.

GRAMNET received an anonymous tip earlier this year that Gary Arreguin was delivering cocaine to Steamboat Springs.

Murphy said officers bought four ounces of cocaine from Arreguin about a month ago and then set up Saturday's deal for 11 ounces with the intent to arrest him, Murphy said.

Martha Arreguin accompanied Gary Arreguin during Saturday's transaction and was arrested with her brother. Both face felony charges for possession of cocaine and possession with the intent to deliver and conspiracy to deliver.

Both are being held in the Routt County Jail. Bail has not been set.

Gary Arreguin has not been charged in connection with the four ounces of cocaine he allegedly sold to an officer a month ago, but Murphy said he expects those charges will be issued this week.

In all, the 15 ounces has a street value of $50,000, he said.

"In terms of the impact on the (community), this was a large operation," Murphy said.

It's the second time Gary Arreguin has been arrested for delivery of illegal drugs in Colorado. In November of 1996, Arreguin, who was living in Denver at the time, sold

controlled substances to officers from a Denver drug task force at an Aurora apartment building. When attempting to arrest him, Arreguin tried to run over the officers with his black pickup and rammed into police vehicles blocking him, according to media reports of the incident.

Officers fired in self-defense, wounding Arreguin in the chest and hand. A handgun was found at the scene that was assumed to be Arreguin's.

Murphy said Arreguin is still on parole for that incident.

No weapons were found in Saturday's arrest.

The sting Saturday was the second drug bust operation that GRAMNET completed last week.

On March 5, officers arrested Steamboat residents Kevin James Petty, 20, and his roommate, 23-year-old Matthew Paul Verracci, on felony counts of distribution of a controlled substance.

Petty allegedly sold an undercover informant 20 Xanax pills for $80 and a gram of cocaine to an undercover officer, court records show.

Verracci allegedly sold eight Xanax pills for $30 and 7 grams of cocaine to the person, records show.

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