Northern Colorado police investigate drug trafficking organization with ties to Mexican drug cartels
May 3, 2017
Police say Luis Castro, 30, and Juan Frausto, 33, took part in a large northern Colorado drug trafficking organization with ties to Mexican drug cartels. Both men were arrested on suspicion of first-degree felony drug charges, and both have court dates pendng. They are as follows:
» Luis Castro — 10 a.m. May 26.
» Juan Frausto — 9:30 a.m. June 29.
In the early afternoon of April 25, as Greeley police officers — along with Denver DEA agents and Adams County Sheriff's deputies — sat waiting near what they believed to be a drug stash house at 3586 W. 64th Ave. in north Denver, they were on the cusp of arresting two of the main players in a large northern Colorado drug trafficking organization. They were also about an hour away from confiscating more than 17 pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine, according to police reports recently made public.
It was the day police arrested Luis Castro, 30, and Juan Frausto, 33, both on suspicion of first-degree felony drug charges. Police say the two men are part of a drug trafficking organization with links to Mexican drug cartels.
According to Greeley police Lt. Steve Black, director of the Weld County Drug Task Force, that organization also stole heavy machinery and construction equipment from businesses sprinkled across the northern Colorado area. Police believe the organization shipped the vehicles to Mexico and sold them to help fund the drug dealing operation. In one instance, he said, police recovered a stolen front loader in El Paso they believe was bound for the border.
The investigation began about six months ago, Black said. Police investigated Castro first, who they believe sold meth in the Greeley area. They also investigated Frausto, who acted as the link between Castro and the big-city drug distributors in the Denver area.
"If Castro is dealing pounds, one might infer Frausto's selling tens of pounds," Black said. "He's the source of supply for this particular drug trafficking organization."
For months, the Weld County Drug Task Force worked with other law enforcement agencies — including the DEA's Cheyenne office and the Weld County strike team — to gather evidence in the case. They intercepted phone calls and placed a GPS tracker on Castro's car.
All of that investigation led them here, to this multistory duplex in unincorporated Adams County, where a blue Dodge Neon was parked in the back lawn.
"That's the moment when the information coming from sources told us this is the time to (make a move)," Black said.
Arrest affidavits state police had earlier intercepted phone calls leading them to believe Frausto would be arriving at the house with a shipment of 12 pounds of meth that day. They believed he was going to sell at least some of the drug to Castro, who would, in turn, distribute it in the Greeley area.
As they waited, the GPS tracking device on Castro's car began to move toward the stash house. According to the affidavit, he arrived at the house about 1 p.m.
Police watched as the two men entered the house through the back door, and re-emerged, carrying a suitcase and a plastic bag. Both men then got into a Nissan Ultima.
The reports state police descended on the car after that and arrested Frausto and Castro. Then they searched the surrounding area.
They didn't find anyone else nearby, but they did discover 2.2 pounds of meth in a white plastic bag in Castro's car, according to the report. They also found another 13.7 pounds of the drug in the neon on the back lawn, in addition to 1.5 pounds of cocaine.
Both Frausto and Castro were booked into the Weld County Jail.
It wasn't the end of the investigation, but Black said he believes it's now in its final act. Police are working with the Weld District Attorney's office and making arrests. He hopes it will make a difference in the Greeley area drug trade.
"When you remove that supply from the population, there's always going to be people who step in and fill the void," Black said. "(But) I'm confident there will be a disruption in this area."
*This story has been changed to reflect the following correction: 3586 W. 64th Ave. is a multistory duplex