Drug trafficking organization with ties in Berthoud dismantled

By Amber McIver-Traywick

The Surveyor

The Northern Colorado Drug Task Force (NCDTF) executed eight search-and-arrest warrants on Tuesday morning, Sept. 10, using SWAT teams in Arvada, Aurora, Campion, Denver, Fort Collins, Thornton and Berthoud. 

The large coordinated effort, dubbed Operation Malverde, began eight months ago and became the primary focus of the task force following the May 2019 fatal heroin overdose of a 40-year-old man in north Fort Collins.

The house that was part of the operation in Berthoud was located near the 900 block of Bruce Drive. Several residents reported on social media seeing heavy police activity and a SWAT team around the intersection of Bruce Drive and Ninth Street around 6:30 a.m., as commands were being given to individuals inside the home through amplification to come out with their hands up.

Details related to arrests have not yet been made public.

Authorities seized an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and firearms from the drug-trafficking organization targeted by the raid. 

The operation’s name, “Malverde,” is possibly linked to a folklore outlaw from Sinaloa Mexico, Jesus Malverde, who is considered to be the “patron saint” of the region’s illegal drug trade.

The NCDTF investigates drug cases primarily in Larimer County, but also works closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration, other regional drug task forces, and surrounding agencies. In addition, NCDTF personnel provide technical assistance to local Street Crimes Units and Criminal Investigation Divisions.

According to Public Information Officer David Moore, the investigation is ongoing and updates will be provided in the near future.

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