This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
In December 2018, the Longmont Public Safety, Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) began investigating the drug distribution activities of Longmont resident, Joshua Ward.
The investigation led to the identification of numerous subjects in the Northern Colorado Region. These individuals were found to be assisting Ward in the distribution of large quantities of methamphetamine, fentanyl, and prescription drugs.
To expand its investigative capabilities, Longmont's SEU partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Tactical Diversion Squad (TDS), Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF), and the Boulder County District Attorney's office. These partnerships allowed for the investigation of the criminal organization to be conducted throughout the Northern Colorado Region and the entirety of the Denver Metropolitan and Front Range Areas.
The investigation led to the identification of over 50 involved parties and possible co-conspirators. Law enforcement also seized 1,472 counterfeit 30 mg Oxycodone Hydrochloride pills (Fentanyl), three pounds of methamphetamine, 1.64 pounds of ephedrine, 288 Schedule II Synthetic Opioid Pills, 18.7 grams of cocaine, 6.7 grams of heroin, 10 Benzodiazepine Pills, numerous rifles, handguns, and a shotgun.
According to Longmont Public Safety, the investigation is still underway but as of July 1, 2019, has led to 19 arrests of suspected members of the drug trafficking organization (DTO). Each of those members were charged with various crimes including drug trafficking, weapon offenses, and numerous Violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA).
More arrests are anticipated as the investigation continues.
During the arrest occurring on July 1, approximately 30 various types of firearms, various types of firearm ammunition, and firearm silencers were found and seized. Of those firearms discovered, six were AK-47 style rifles without serial numbers, also known as "ghost guns."
The following individuals have been arrested by law enforcement in association with the DTO. While they have been charged for these crimes, it is important to remember that no individual has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and must be presumed innocent until such a time that happens.