At a news conference Dec. 1, the District Attorney’s Office for the 18th Judicial District and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced the grand jury indictments of 19 people in connection with a drug-distribution ring. Two other related defendants were identified and arrested after the indictments.
The 20-count indictment from the 18th Judicial District Grand Jury outlines how the defendants distributed large quantities of controlled substances — including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl – throughout Arapahoe, Douglas, Denver and Jefferson counties.
The DEA began its investigation in April 2021. The grand jury found that defendant Saul Ramon Rivera-Beltran, 30, of Thornton, coordinated the drug shipments and deals from Mexico. The fentanyl is believed to have been manufactured in Mexico, smuggled into the United Sates and eventually brought to Colorado. Rivera-Beltran is being held on $1 million bond.
“These indictments are an example of how my Organized Crime Unit is able to prosecute those who traffic illegal drugs in our communities and neighborhoods,” said District Attorney John Kellner. “These are people who peddle deadly substances. And where we find the illegal drug trade, we usually find illegal weapons. We will continue to work with local, state and federal partners to prosecute these criminal organizations.”
“This investigation is not about the amount of drugs seized or number of people arrested,” said DEA Denver Acting Special Agent in Charge David Olesky. “This investigation demonstrates and corroborates the alarming trend in counterfeit prescription pills laced with fentanyl flooding our streets, as well as the continuing nexus between drug trafficking and violent crime impacting our communities.”
These are the defendants, who will prosecuted in Douglas County District Court:
Saul Ramon Rivera-Beltran, 2021CR1057
Samuel Padilla-Romo, 2021CR1059
Jesus Tarango-Rodriquez, 2021CR1061
Misael Acosta-garcia, 2021CR1063
Martin Ivan Trevizo, 2021CR1065
Austin Peterson, 2021CR1067
Christian Beltran-Beltran, 2021CR1069
Gustavo Labrador Valderrama, 2021CR1071
Luis Jacob Zytacua, 2021CR1073
Amanda Fair Wynn Bidgood, 2021CR1075
Juan Francis Sarabia-Mancinas, 2021CR1076
Anita Kay Bateman, 2021CR1077
Miguel Diarte, 2021CR1079
Brayan Osiel Gonzales-Mancinas, 2021CR1080
Jorge Escamilla, 2021CR1081
Antonio Lorenzo Escamilla, 2021CR1083
Ernestina Angela Montoya, 2021CR1085
Cesar A Ortiz, 2021CR1087
Alberto Sanchez Rodrigquez, 2021CR1089
Adrian Santana, 2021CR1091
Nancy Vargas, 2021CR1093
Charges range from racketeering and conspiracy under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act to drug distribution and money laundering. The top counts are Class 2 felonies.
Criminal charges are merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.