DENVER (AP) — A grand jury has indicted 54 people accused of belonging to two drug trafficking organizations, including one with ties to Mexico, that authorities said Friday peddled large amounts of meth, heroin, crack and other drugs in Colorado.
Forty-two of the people have been arrested and 12 remained at large.
Federal authorities said the indictments stemmed from two unrelated investigations into gangs that have ties to the Chicago-based Gangster Disciples and an organization known as the Gonzalez-Cepeva/Quintero.
The Gangster Disciples sold drugs in Colorado, Kansas and Arizona, authorities said. At least one of its members is also accused of interstate prostitution.
The Gonzalez-Cepeva/Quintero group imported drugs from Mexico, smuggled cash, ran drug houses and illegally possessed weapons, U.S. Attorney John Walsh said.
“While the exact impact these arrests have on the drug trade is difficult to quantify, it is safe to say that the quantity of cocaine, crack, meth and heroin available on the street has been substantially reduced,” Walsh said. “Colorado is a safer place.”
Both gangs are accused of distributing cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, pot and Ecstasy in Colorado.
Authorities said they seized nearly 20,000 grams of methamphetamine, other drugs, 13 guns and more than $94,000 in cash during the two-year investigation.
Agents intend to trace weapons to see if they have been used in any other crimes.