24 Defendants Indicted on Federal Drug Charges After IRS, FBI Investigation
A group of 24 defendants have been indicted on numerous federal drug trafficking charges following an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation division and the FBI.
Per the IRS, this massive drug ring bust saw the following defendants indicted by a Denver grand jury:
- Cesar Octavio Vega Chacon, of Mexico
- Jose Ezequiel Alvarado-Villarreal, of Mexico
- Abymelec Alvarez-Miranda, of Mexico
- Manuel Campos, of Mexico
- Susana Elizabeth Carreno-Hernandez, of Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Alberto Cervantes-Salazar, of Aurora, Colorado
- Luis Daniel Feliciano Dejesus, of Denver, Colorado
- Uriel Flores, of Denver, Colorado
- Jose Antonio Sanchez-Olmedo, of Las Vegas, Nevada
- Victor Edel Sandoval-Portela, of Mexico
- Leonel Villarreal-Olivas, of Mexico
- Juan Demetrio Villapando, Jr., of Mexico
- Jose Misael Alcaraz Cortez, of San Bernardino, California
- Xiomara Faith Fabres, of Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Erasmo Franco-Gutierrez, location unknown
- Yulissa Aleli Castaneda Medrano, of Mexico
- Christian Mercado, location unknown
- Jose Abel Otero-Correa, of Aurora, Colorado
- Ian Michael Payne, Jr., of Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Stephanie Saavedra, of Littleton, Colorado
- Juan Antonio Serrano-Lopez, of Denver, Colorado
- Juan Demetrio Villalpando Dominguez, of West Covina, California
- "UM-5548," real name and location unknown
- "Ayon," real name and location unknown
The superseding indictment alleges that the two dozen defendants in this far-reaching case were part of a conspiracy to distribute over 400 grams of fentanyl, over 50 grams of pure methamphetamine, about 500 grams of an unspecified substance mixed with methamphetamine, and one kilogram of heroin.
The indictment also alleges that one of the defendants, Villalpando Jr. (AKA "Junior") engaged in organized criminal activity to further the operations of the overarching conspiracy. Per court documents, he allegedly occupied high-up positions within the drug ring, including organizer, supervisor, and manager. Furthermore, members of the conspiracy arranged for illicit funds to be transferred from Colorado to California, ultimately ending up with Villalpando Jr. in Mexico.
As previously noted, this drug bust was the result of cooperation between multiple law enforcement agencies, including IRS-CI and the FBI. It was officially investigated by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).
At this time, it is unknown when the defendants' trials will begin or what types of plea agreements may be offered by the prosecution.
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