Heroin investigation in Steamboat yields arrests
March 12, 2012
Steamboat Springs — Three Steamboat Springs men have been arrested on suspicion of their involvement in heroin distribution.
The All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force arrested the men Friday night after a six-week investigation, ACET Commander Marvin Cameron said. Cameron said three search warrants and two arrest warrants were served Friday starting at about 5:30 p.m.
"I can definitely tell you that Steamboat Springs is a safer place and a better place today," Cameron said.
Elijah Joseph Persons, 21, was arrested on suspicion of organized crime, distribution of Schedule 1 narcotics and money laundering. He was arrested Friday evening while working at his job in downtown Steamboat. Steamboat Springs Police Department Chief Joel Rae said a search of Persons' car yielded 40 grams of heroin.
Persons' brother, Jordan Thomas Persons, 19, was arrested when a search warrant was served on the car he was driving on Rabbit Ears Pass. Rae said he was arrested on suspicion of organized crime, possession of Schedule 1 narcotics and money laundering.
Rae said Samuel Lawrence Andrew, 21, was a passenger in the car and was arrested on suspicion of possession of Schedule 2 and Schedule 4 narcotics and drug paraphernalia.
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In a separate case, Rae said officers on Friday also arrested Nicholas Stephen Power while serving a search warrant at his home on Spruce Street.
All four appeared in Routt County District Court on Monday and were scheduled to appear next for status conferences at 1 p.m. Wednesday (March 14).
Rae said that during the search of Power's home, officers found 10 grams of suspected black-tar heroin.
The total heroin recovered during the two searches has a street value of about $5,000, Rae said.
The Persons brothers and Power are not suspected of dealing heroin together, Rae said.
"They may be seen as competitors," he said.
Rae said the ACET drug task force began receiving tips about heroin sales in July.
"I think it really probably started coming onto our radar roughly a year ago," Rae said.
Rae said heroin use in Steamboat became even more prevalent after the death of a 24-year-old man last year at an Old Fish Creek Falls Road condo.
"Toxicology confirmed he died from a heroin overdose," Rae said.
"When we have people in our community dying from overdoses in our community, we've got to be going after these people aggressive," Rae said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com