Three busted in coke sale

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Police arrested three men Tuesday after seeing what they suspect was a cocaine sale in a Colorado Mountain College parking lot.

Michael Ryan Wills, 20, of Oak Creek, and Jose Mejia Perez, 31, of Steamboat Springs, were arrested after police observed them making a drug sale transaction in a CMC parking lot, Steamboat Springs Police Capt. Joel Rae said. Perez's brother, Jamie Mejia Perez, 35, of Steamboat Springs, also was arrested after police found drugs in his residence, Rae said.

The men's arrest was part of an extensive GRAMNET investigation, Rae said. The investigation "identified a significant source of distribution of cocaine and meth in the community," he said.

The first arrests happened Tuesday afternoon after officers with the Grand, Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team observed what they suspected was the sale and purchase of cocaine in a CMC parking lot.

Wills and an unnamed person met with Jose Perez in his Red Ford pickup on Bob Adams Drive. Perez sold 3.25 ounces of cocaine to Wills and other person for $3,500, Rae said.

Shortly after the transaction, the police stopped Wills in his truck and found the cocaine in the center console.

The police also found less than 1 gram of cocaine in a Ziploc bag in a cigarette pack, a digital scale and a glass pipe with burnt marijuana. The police also found a Ziploc bag with less than 1 ounce of marijuana and a small amount of methamphetamine in the truck, according to court documents.

Wills allegedly told police the meth and the marijuana were his, but the cocaine belonged to the other person, and he was just facilitating the transaction. Wills said he received a quarter-ounce of cocaine, worth $500, for helping with the transaction, according to court documents.

Police are investigating the other person's involvement in the transaction, Rae said.

After the sale was completed, police officers contacted Perez inside Willett Hall in CMC. The police found $3,500 in cash on Perez, Rae said.

At about the same time of the transaction, GRAMNET and police searched Perez and his brother's residence at 3025 Columbine Drive.

The police found six bags of cocaine totaling 17 grams and three bags of meth totaling 10.98 grams in Jamie Perez's denim jacket, reports indicate. GRAMNET also found a bag with 2.13 grams of meth inside a shirt pocket and a pill bottle with one gram of marijuana, court documents show.

One person told police she purchased cocaine from Jamie Perez 10 times in the past three months and saw him get the cocaine from a closet in the house.

Wills was charged with possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance, possession of less than a gram of a Schedule 2 controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance, possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jose Perez was charged with possession of a controlled substance and distribution of a controlled substance. Jamie Perez was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana.

The Perez brothers are being held in the Routt County Jail on $20,000 bond each and are being held for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Two more people also are being held for ICE as a result of GRAMNET's investigation.

When Wills appeared Wednesday in Routt County Court, he was charged with three additional counts of selling and distributing cocaine and meth. The three charges stem from three separate dates in the past three years. Wills remains in the Routt County Jail on $20,000 bond.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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