Local drug task force busts two illegal pot operations | VailDaily.com

Local drug task force busts two illegal pot operations

VAIL — A regional narcotics task force recently made two more drug busts, one in Vail and one in rural Eagle County.

The Gore Range Narcotics Interdiction Team — GRANITE — raided an illegal marijuana operation in East Vail earlier this week where the residents where reportedly growing pot and cooking hash oil.

That raid included local police, GRANITE members and Drug Enforcement Agency agents. GRANITE is a combined task force from the Eagle County Sheriff's Office and the Vail Police Department.

Earlier this month DEA agents also busted an illegal marijuana grow operation on private property in rural Eagle County.

In that raid, Eagle County law enforcement agencies assisted the DEA to execute a federal search warrant that was part of a federal investigation.

The Eagle County Sheriff's Office and other local law enforcement agencies were simply assisting the DEA, said Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek.

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Because it's an ongoing federal investigation, no other information is being released at this time, said James Gothe, public information officer with the DEA's Denver office.

In October, GRANITE officers arrested two men and one woman from the Front Range, and charged them with cocaine trafficking in Vail.

Alan Humber Hernandez Lopez, 28, and Andrew Quach, 28, were arrested while they were allegedly selling cocaine in the parking structure of a Vail apartment complex.

When GRANITE officers searched the vehicle, they found more than a 1.1 kilos of cocaine worth $119,000, all stuffed into a duffel bag. They also found $1,476 in cash in Hernandez Lopez' right front pants pocket, and $262.01 on Quach.

Justine Colton, 25, was arrested earlier this week in Jefferson County for her role in the affair. She's charged with three felonies and for being a "special offender."

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.