DENVER — A Denver Grand Jury indicted 24 individuals on 175 counts last month for conspiring to commit a multitude of crimes over a period of more than two years, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office.
The suspects committed those crimes between Feb. 5, 2017, and October 2019 to support their illegal drug habits, the DA's office said.
They face charges collectively and individually ranging from violating Colorado’s Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA), attempted murder, aggravated motor vehicle theft, impersonating a peace officer, burglary, assault, forgery and possession with intent to manufacture or distribute controlled substances, among other charges.
“At the heart of this indictment is an all-too-familiar tale of how drug addiction fuels criminal activity,” said Denver DA Beth McCann. “We need, as a community, to focus on treatment and a public health response to substance abuse to help address associated criminal behavior. This type of illegal activity negatively affected many individuals, businesses and communities throughout the Denver-metro area.”
Many of the indicted suspects lived together and shared stolen money, property, vehicles, IDs, food, clothing and illegal drugs, the DA said.
At least 28 vehicles stolen across the Denver-metro area are believed to be attributed to the group’s coordinated activities, according to the DA's office.
The group is accused of stealing the vehicles to commit other crimes, including burglaries. They would then trade or sell the stolen property, guns, social security cards, credit cards, bikes, golf clubs, professional makeup kits and numerous other items to acquire methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, the DA's office said.
One suspect pretended to be a peace officer while he was stealing a vehicle and then caused injuries to an actual Denver Police officer while being apprehended, according to the DA's office. The primary members of the enterprise are all charged with COCCA. Each defendant will be tried separately.
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