DENVER, CO – It may have looked like any other food truck — shiny silver with “tacos,” “tortas” and “burritos” splashed across the front — but until recently, it’s where customers in Denver armed with code phrases such as “six pack” or “yellow cups” could order methamphetamine with their meal, authorities said.
As part of a federal and local law enforcement investigation called “Operation Cargo,” authorities seized 55 pounds of meth in what is said to be one of the largest such busts in state history. On Monday, a grand jury indicted 17 people.
“After conducting five wiretaps over five weeks, fifty-five pounds of meth was taken off the streets,” Attorney General John Suthers said in a news release. “The brazenness of this ring was astounding. For example, customers could literally walk up to a food truck and order a side of meth with their taco.”
Juan Carlos Gonzalez, 37, alleged leader of the Gonzalez drug trafficking organization, is accused of coordinating with others to import meth as well as cocaine from Mexico into California for delivery in Colorado. He would then distribute the stash to his two aunts and others in the ring to sell in the taco truck, according to the indictment.
Gonzalez allegedly ran the international drug operation out of his BMW, organizing dealers, drug storage and money laundering.
Oscar Ruvalcaba, 29, is accused of being the “load car” driver who transported the drugs into Colorado and then delivered them to Gonzalez. In August, authorities seized 40 pounds of meth stashed in a secret compartment in the floorboard of Ruvalcaba’s red Mini Cooper, the indictment stated. That was the incident called one of the largest meth seizures in the state, according to the attorney general’s news release.
After Gonzalez received the drugs, he would allegedly distribute them primarily through his aunts, Monica Gonzalez, 54, and Luz Gonzalez, 50, to sell to customers. Maria Arellano, 39, is accused of selling the meth out of her taco trailer.
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