Regional HIDTA Award Given for Methamphetamine Investigation
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 26, 2014|
United States Attorney for the District of Nebraska, Deborah R. Gilg, announces today members of the CODE and WING drug task forces received a regional High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas award for their work in dismantling a significant methamphetamine drug organization in Western Nebraska and Eastern Colorado. The investigation identified a distribution organization that brought methamphetamine from Mexico and transported it through Arizona, Colorado, and eventually into Nebraska. The investigation showed money made though the narcotics sales was being transferred back to the country of Mexico either by wire or through personal couriers.
This investigation began as a joint effort with the FBI, through their office in North Platte, and the CODE and WING drug task forces making undercover purchases of methamphetamine from an individual in the Ogallala, Nebraska area in late 2012 and early 2013. This meth distribution organization was responsible for bringing in pound quantities of methamphetamine into the Julesburg and Sterling, Colorado area and spanned an area of operation from Sterling, Colorado, to Lexington, Nebraska, a distance of approximately 200 miles.
CODE and WING task force members worked together utilizing undercover agents/officers to make purchases of drugs, conducted numerous surveillances, executed search warrants, made multiple arrests, and utilized other investigative techniques. In addition to the various law enforcement agencies comprising these Nebraska task forces, there was significant cooperation across federal judicial districts. Because the enterprise operated over both the Districts of Colorado and Nebraska, it presented numerous legal hurdles in the investigation. Important to the success of this investigation was the assistance, partnership, and leadership of the Assistant United States Attorney, who worked with task force staff at all hours of the day, seven days a week, coordinating the activities of the 33 law enforcement organizations involved in the investigation in Nebraska, as well as Colorado.
The investigation made approximately 29 narcotics buys of methamphetamine, 18 of which were one-ounce quantities or more. The controlled narcotics buys were initially only of several grams but increased to one- to two-ounce buys and culminated with the seizure of approximately 2.7 pounds of methamphetamine during the execution of a search warrant on August 12, 2013.
The numerous successes achieved by the task force personnel working together on the investigation lead to the dismantling of this criminal enterprise and resulted in 17 arrests. Controlled drug buys executed on the case recovered approximately 23 ounces of methamphetamine.
“The outstanding cooperative efforts in this case were remarkable and necessary in order to achieve the undoing of this distribution network over such a vast geographic area,” said U.S. Attorney Gilg. “It is a tribute to the cooperation and coordination of efforts we have in the heartland of America.”