FORT COLLINS - Police continue to pursue suspects and have made at least 16 arrests in connection with a methamphetamine distribution ring based largely in Larimer County, according to a multi-agency drug task force.
At least 2.25 pounds of methamphetamine, $30,000, 11 firearms, heroin, hallucinogenic mushrooms and marijuana were among the contraband seized. Court records regarding the allegations have been sealed, and police aren't releasing details about the operation or any alleged criminal enterprise until they've arrested all the suspects, according to Commander Greg Yeager with the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force.
Search warrants were served Dec. 7 at four homes across Fort Collins and one Denver apartment unit. In limited information available in 8th Judicial District Court, suspect Gerald Case, 40, is accused of resisting arrest the evening of Dec. 7 at 2050 Churchill Drive in Fort Collins. Police say they met him in the front yard and he pulled away several times as they put him in handcuffs; a small amount of meth and a pipe were found in his pocket, according to his arrest affidavit.
Diana Renner-Hagerty, 49, was arrested at the same address, and inside police found about 7 grams of meth in a jewelry box, along with more than $1,000 in cash, according to her arrest affidavit.
Meth popularity has leveled off, if not declined, in recent years, but Loveland addiction specialist Dr. Jeremy Dubin said he's not especially surprised by the arrests.
Fort Collins police records show that each of the past six months, there were between five and 12 arrests for amphetamine sales or possession.
Despite laws restricting purchases of meth lab ingredients and marketing to show the potential horrors of meth addiction, it remains possible to make the drug within the U.S., and it's easier to obtain than cocaine, Dubin said.
"(Meth) hasn't really gone anywhere," he said. "We've made some dents into it."
Alcohol and opiates continue to top the list for drug abuse, but meth remains in the top five, he said.
Agencies involved with the recent arrests include Fort Collins Police Services and Larimer County Sheriff's Office SWAT teams and investigative units, the Fort Collins Police Neighborhood Enforcement Team, the Department of Corrections Parole Division and the Denver Police SWAT team.
The addresses where warrants were served included 733 Rene Drive, 2901 Ninebark Drive, 4124 Beaver Creek Drive and 2050 Churchill Drive in Fort Collins, and 2135 South Depew Street in Denver.
Other people arrested include Deborah Kordeliski, 54; Jennifer Barella, 28; Tyrone Faught, 41, Juliana Sanchez, 31; Fernando Pena, 31; Crystal Burkhart, 37; James Quintana, 37; Luke Hayden, 38; Mark Miller, 39; Luis Negrete, 24; Derek Rios, 27; Crystal Duncan, 34; Arthur Borrego, 32; and Steven Newton, 51.