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Eight Montezuma County residents arrested after narcotics investigation

Eight people in Montezuma County await trial in federal court after alleged drug trafficking and distribution.
Local law enforcement worked for nearly two years to capture alleged traffickers

Eight Montezuma County residents were arrested after an extensive investigation by the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, Cortez Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Montezuma-Cortez Narcotics Investigations Team.

All await trial for alleged drug trafficking.

“It was over a year-and-a-half with thousands of hours of man hours put in,” Detective Sgt. Victor Galarza said.

Galarza noted that the Hot Summer Nights investigation targeted suspects believed to be involved in the sale and distribution of counterfeit oxycodone-30 fentanyl pills, methamphetamine and other drugs such as cocaine.

In case number 22CR00359, Cesar Ortiz-Castillo, William Millard, Mary Lobato, Infant Maciel and Russell Wall were indicted on “conspiracy to commit” drug trafficking offenses, as well as other drug distribution and offenses with weapons.

All five await trial.

In another case, 23CR0007, Luis Martinez and Crystal Bass were indicted on conspiracy to commit drug trafficking offenses and other drug distribution offenses. Martinez and Bass also await trial.

The last to be arrested, 23-year-old Douglas Brummett, was arrested on an indictment “alleging multiple instances of trafficking fentanyl and methamphetamine,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Colorado.

Brummett appeared in federal court June 1. If convicted, he would face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count.

Galarza said eight people are in the process of going through federal court, and three are still in state court. Arrest warrants that have been issued for other suspects in the trafficking investigation.

“We are counting on the future support of our community,” Galarza said. “At the end of the day, we are saving lives when it comes to these fentanyl pills that are coming into our county.”

“It’s alarming the amount of counterfeit oxy-30 fentanyl pills that are coming into our community and the amount of methamphetamine,” Galarza said. “The Montezuma-Cortez Narcotics Investigations Team remains vigilant and continues to have open investigations on individuals involved in the sale and distribution of fentanyl, methamphetamine and other substances that are putting our community at risk.”

The multiagency investigation is ongoing. Along with the eight federal indictments, there were also five state cases that were part of the same operation.

In the state cases, Jeremiah Maestas was arrested for fentanyl distribution, Shane Gore for distribution of methamphetamines and Jake Allmon for a firearms violation.

There are currently two outstanding warrants in the investigation.

According to the information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the prosecution is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Josh Player and Jeffrey K. Graves.

“We never would have been able to do it without the assistance of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as well as the 22nd Judicial District,” Galarza said.