Six Mexican Nationals in country illegally, arrested in ultra-massive Colorado illegal pot grow
Six men were arrested this week after local and federal authorities targeted an elaborate illegal marijuana grow that covered a full mile of federal land, adjacent to Colorado Highway 141 at the Dolores River and near the Mesa and Montrose county lines.
All totaled, 153 pounds of marijuana were hauled away in recent days by federal authorities, who boated it in trash bags from one side of the Dolores River to the other.
Leonel Olaguez Cabrales, 22, Angel Guzman Gutierrez, 31, Sergio Enrique Arevalo Portillo, 26, Jose Eleno Rodarte Garcia, 38, Eduardo Arias Torres, 27, and Juan Mejia-Vasquez, 41, were booked Wednesday at the Mesa County Jail on suspicion of federal charges of conspiracy to manufacture 1,000 or more plants and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana.
Four of the men had Mexican identification cards and one had Honduran identification, according to a federal arrest warrant affidavit.
Two of them allegedly told arresting officers they were in the United States illegally.
They were all arrested Wednesday in a coordinated operation involving the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The effort was launched after BLM rangers on Sept. 15 encountered four Mexican nationals at a grow operation along the Dolores River off Highway 141, at milepost 90. Some 1,200 marijuana plants were confirmed, BLM Ranger Bryce Stewart said in the affidavit.
On Wednesday, when officers returned to the area, they found a second grow site that was recently harvested.
“I would estimate that the grow site was approximately one mile from one end to the other, with a 300-yard section in the middle that did not have any plants,” the ranger said in the affidavit.
It stretched from about milepost 95 to 94 on Highway 141, all of it BLM-administrated land.
Stewart estimated the site to have had about 1,000 plants before being harvested.
Officers approached the site in three teams and apparently surprised one suspect, Arias Torres. “Oh no,” he reportedly told officers upon seeing them, later exclaiming, “Worst day ever.”
Arias Torres told the officers there were five more men in the area, the affidavit said. He said he’d been recently brought in to help trim and process the plants as the grow was shutting down.
“He advised that they had guns but they had been thrown in the river because they were preparing to leave,” the affidavit said. The remaining suspects — all of them were wearing camouflage — were arrested as officers moved up on the grow site.
The affidavit details a sophisticated operation: An apparent kitchen and storage area had a cook stove and food, aside from various supplies. A gasoline-powered electric generator was found. Officers came across a car battery that was charging a cellphone.
The campers appeared to be field dressing a rabbit: Fur and entrails were scattered as well as numerous heads of dead catfish.
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reposted by Reagangirl.com 10/4/15