A joint law enforcement action by the Metro Gang Task Force, the FBI, U.S. Attorney's Office, and Aurora Police Department resulted yesterday in the indictment of 52 members and associates of the East Side Crips in Denver. Eight separate indictments charge the defendants with trafficking cocaine and crack cocaine in open air drug markets.
The takedown involved 225 Special Agents and officers from 18 agencies, including SWAT teams from 4 different departments. The 20-month investigation focused on cocaine and crack cocaine dealing by members and associates of the East Side Crips near parks and public transportation centers – both areas where children and families congregate.
The goal of this investigation, authorities said, is to remove poison, fear and danger from these public places so they can be used again freely by law abiding citizens. “In Colorado, we pride ourselves on gold-standard law enforcement partnerships that make life safe here,” Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer told the press. “Eighteen agencies came together in this investigation and removed poison, fear and danger from parks, neighborhoods, and public transportation. And they did it with minimal disruption to the folks in those communities who just want to go outside, walk to school, use their parks, or take the light rail.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers echoed these sentiments, saying that “Crimes of this nature cause our citizens to live in fear and threaten to destroy our neighborhoods. This cannot be tolerated. We are confident today’s arrests will send a message to those contemplating committing these egregious acts that they will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The FBI will continue to continue to work with our law enforcement partners and prosecutors to attack this crime problem and remove violent criminals from our neighborhoods.”
He concluded that “today’s arrests are indicative of the success that can be attained when agencies combine resources to attack violent street gangs.”
If convicted, the 52 defendants face a wide variety of criminal consequences depending on the drug trafficking charges. Some face not less than 10 years and up to life, others face not less than 5 years and up to 40 years, and yet others face not more than 20 years in federal prison.
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