Investigators from the All Crimes Enforcement Team and members of the Steamboat Springs Police Department Emergency Response Team seized about 1 pound of methamphetamine, about a half pound of cocaine and $6,000 in cash Monday evening during a no-knock warrant in Creekside Court. Three men were arrested in the raid.

Garrett Wiggins/Courtesy Photo

Investigators from the All Crimes Enforcement Team and members of the Steamboat Springs Police Department Emergency Response Team seized about 1 pound of methamphetamine, about a half pound of cocaine and $6,000 in cash Monday evening during a no-knock warrant in Creekside Court. Three men were arrested in the raid.

No-knock ACET raid catches 3 with meth and coke

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Ernesto Sanluis-Espinoza

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Alexander Ochoa-Espinoza

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Jorge Orduno-Acuno

— A raid of a south Steamboat Springs home Monday night turned up about a pound of methamphetamine and about half a pound of cocaine, and ended with three men arrested. Law enforcement officers estimate the seized drugs are worth about $81,000 in street value.

Investigators with the Northwest Colorado All Crimes Enforcement Team and officers from the Steamboat Springs Police Department uncovered the drugs, paraphernalia and more than $6,000 in cash in a home in the 1400 block of Creekside Court, off Whistler Road.

Ernesto Sanluis-Espinoza, 31; Alexander Ochoa-Espinoza, 24; and Jorge Orduno-Acuno, 25; were booked into the Routt County Jail early Tuesday morning on suspicion of distribution of a Schedule 2 drug and money laundering.

The men are Mexican citizens living in Steamboat Springs, and all face a $20,000 bond on the two charges, both Class 3 felonies. The three also have holds from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, so even if they were able to make bail, they would still have to prove their legal status before they would be released.

Formal charges have not yet been filed in the case. Fourteenth Judicial Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle said he expects to file the charges by Thursday. The men appeared via video conference before Routt County Judge James Garrecht for an initial appearance Tuesday, and will return at 1:30 p.m. today. One of the men, who was not identified, could be heard asking the judge what he should do because he has no family in the area to help pay the bond. Garrecht responded that an attorney, to be appointed to the men soon, would help answer that question.

ACET task force commander Garrett Wiggins said the no-knock warrant was the result of about three months of investigation. Wiggins said the raid, at 8:30 p.m. Monday, was "textbook."

"It went down real smooth, and nobody got injured," he said.

Wiggins said the drugs were packaged in individual and bulk amounts, and was mostly hidden in containers inside a closet. The warrant for the arrest remained sealed Tuesday afternoon.

Comments

honestabe 4 years, 7 months ago

way to go ACET and SSPD. this is what we like to see, this sounds like a big one. Hopefully it stands up in court, if not at least the meth and coke are not in our community now.

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Martha D Young 4 years, 7 months ago

Thank you, Garrett and the other ACET members. Your hard work paid off. Now I hope the justice system will keep these alleged criminals in jail until their trials. $20K bonds for men holding at least $61K worth of drugs seem pretty minimal.

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey, uh, didn't they build the new Kangaroo Kourthouse next to the jail because of the "danger" involved in transporting prisoners from the jail to the old courthouse downtown?

Remember that tunnel between the KK and the jail? The one that flooded. The underground kayak course installed for the amusement of state court employees? That one?

So, despite the collocation of the facilities, the hearings are being done by video.

All this for only $18,000,000 of our taxpayer dollars, with bonus furloughs for County employees.

Unbelievable.

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Kristopher Hammond 4 years, 7 months ago

H: The tunnel is not flooded. Routine hearings (like initial advisements) are done by video to minimize RCSO man-hours. For more involved court proceedings, Inmates are brought from the jail to the courthouse vial the dry tunnel, dedicated elevator and holding area with no public contact. In the old days, these Eagle Scouts were driven to the courthouse in a van, used the public elevator and walked right past the witnesses against them in the courthouse hallway. See any red flags?

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Harvey Lyon 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey...it's Steamboat kids these guys are marketing to. Non-US Citizens makes it worse. Why any bail at all? SOBs should get out of the slammer just long enough to shovel the Court House steps this winter...rake leaves and mow the grass in the fall.

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

Shawant,

There's nothing different that couldn't have been done in the old courthouse a bunch cheaper than $18,000,000.00.

Don't the defendants have a right to confront witnesses in the courtroom? Yes, they do. What about this this process could not have been done just as well in the old place by changing some procedures. Couldn't the witnesses have waited somewhere else until the defendants were in place? I think so.

The County is dipping into reserves that were depleted by the so-called "justice center" construction project, and your friends and neighbors who work for the County are suffering for the sake of a project that should have been State funded.

The tunnel had a flooding problem when it was constructed below the water table in a wetland. That problem has obviously been fixed, but it should never have been an issue.

I am glad that the new arrangement saves time and makes it safer for RCSO. I am 100% behind the RCSO and don't resent their use of the new facilities. It's just that the way it was done was not in accordance with the law, and people whose salaries are paid by the State are the beneficiaries of the new court facilities while County employees are being laid off.

We've all been taken to the cleaners to the tune of about $1,200 for every taxpayer by the Courts and the former County Commissioners who built that thing using County money. It's a crime, and they all got away with it.

Such is the injustice of a "self policing" branch of government which is free to do as it chooses, with the public banking on the Courts acting in good faith. They don't. There's plenty of proof. The Routt County Kangaroo Kourthouse stands as a monument to abuse of power and breach of the public trust. Those drug dealers are probably dangerous folks, and $80,000 is reason enough to get violent, but there's no difference between a felon who trafficks in drugs and a felon who steals from private citizens using the power of the state. At least you can lock up the traffickers. Who's locking up the people who stole $18,000,000 from the taxpayers?

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