**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

Kent Keller, PIO
Greeley Police Department¬
(970) 351-5387, Desk
Kent.keller@greeleypd.com

WCDTF Seizes 65,000 Counterfeit Pills and 34 Pounds of Methamphetamine

GREELEY, Colo. – The Weld County Drug Task Force (WCDTF) recently concluded an investigation regarding a drug trafficking organization. This drug trafficking organization had connections from Mexico and were suspected of transporting large quantities of methamphetamine and counterfeit M-30 pills suspected of containing fentanyl into New Mexico before ultimately arriving to its final destination in Greeley, Colorado.

On August 18, 2022, a Weld County Sherriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Highway 66 and Highway 85, in the Town of Platteville. A Greeley Police K9 Officer assisted and deployed his partner, K9 Odin, who alerted to the odor of narcotics detected on the vehicle.

A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered:
• 115.87 grams of counterfeit M-30 pills suspected of containing fentanyl (approximately 1,000 pills)
• Approximately 3 pounds of Methamphetamine
The driver, New Mexico resident Irene Barela, 58, was arrested and transported to the Weld County Jail. Barela was booked in on two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute a Class 1 Drug Felony and Special Offender Status for transporting felony level amounts of narcotics into Colorado.

The second traffic stop occurred on September 13, 2022, where a Weld County Sherriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a pickup truck on Highway 85 in the Town of Gilcrest. A Weld County Sherriff’s K9 Deputy deployed his partner, K9 Viper, who alerted to the odor of narcotics detected in the truck.

A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered:
• 440.00 grams of counterfeit M-30 pills suspected of containing fentanyl (approximately 4,000 pills)
• 5.25 pounds of Methamphetamine
The driver of the vehicle, Jorge Garcia-Loya, 36, was arrested and transported to the Weld County Jail. Garcia-Loya was booked in on charges of Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance a Class 1 Drug Felony, Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance a Class 4 Drug Felony and Speeding 20-40 MPH Over the Limit.

The WCDTF secured, and served, a search warrant for Garcia-Loya’s residence in Henderson, Colorado on that same day. Once there, a Weld County Sherriff’s K9 Deputy deployed his partner, K9 Dexter, who alerted to the odor of narcotics detected inside the residence.

The following items were located inside Garcia-Loya’s residence:
• 14.2 pounds of counterfeit M-30 pills suspected of containing fentanyl (approximately 60,000 pills)
• 26.2 pounds of Methamphetamine

No additional information will be released today. Attached are photos of the narcotics seized from the search warrant.

The WCDTF is made up of investigators on loan from the Greeley Police Department, Weld County Sheriff’s Office and the Evans Police Department. In 2021, the WCDTF seized over 50 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin. In addition, they also seized almost 12,000 counterfeit fentanyl pills, 137 firearms, and over $130,000 in cash and vehicles earned through the illegal distribution of narcotics.

If you have any information on this case and have not been interviewed by officers, please contact Commander Scott Smith at 970-351-5211.

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