August 21st, 2019
In October 2018, the Weld County Drug Task Force began to receive information that Alberto “Beto” Loya was involved in cocaine distribution in the Greeley area. An investigation was begun and information was quickly learned that indicated that Loya was dealing significant quantities of cocaine. Information was shared with the Drug Enforcement Administration who had developed additional information concerning Loya outside of the WCDTF investigation. The DEA and WCDTF joined their investigative resources to further the investigation.
The investigation continued over the next few months with information being obtained indicating that Loya was part of a larger organization bringing cocaine into the Colorado and the Greeley area. During the course of the investigation, Loya is alleged to have sold large amounts of cocaine to confidential sources as well as to undercover WCDTF investigator(s).
While investigating the Loya drug trafficking organization, new criminal enterprises were uncovered concerning illicit black market marijuana that was being grown locally and exported out of state. The alleged leaders of this organization were identified as Ernani Lujan and Antonio Torrez. Both cases were investigated simultaneously.
On May 15, 2019 nine search warrants were executed. In addition to the Weld County Drug Task Force and the DEA, invaluable assistance was provided by the Greeley PD, Weld County Sheriff’s Office, Larimer County Drug Task Force, and the Boulder County Drug Task Force, and Windsor PD.
Warrants were served at the following locations:
1521 42nd Ave., Greeley
2233 29th Ave., Greeley
1657 55th Ave., Greeley
2503 15th Ave., Greeley
3400 16th St., Greeley
25938 WCR 47, Greeley
503 ½ Main St., Windsor
2972 Eagle Way, Boulder
2809 Terry Lake Rd., Fort Collins
After the execution of the search warrants, additional case investigation continued with no arrests being made at that time. On July 11, 2019 a Weld County Grand Jury was convened to investigate the two drug trafficking groups. That grand jury returned indictments against nineteen individuals totaling sixty-two counts. Charges ranging from, distribution of controlled substances, conspiracy to money launder, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances (schedule I & II), money laundering, cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a weapon by a previous offender, and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances. In the following weeks, the process of making arrests on the grand jury warrants has been taking place. The following individuals were arrested:
Alberto Loya Christopher Strain
Anthony Alirez Antonio Torrez
Ernani Lujan Santana Torrez
Benjamin Bernhardt Cesar Vargas- Maldonado
Frank Valdez Christopher Strain
Gilberto Valenzuela- Flores Antonio Campos Quintana
Lanny Green Daniel Sisneros
Joseph Alirez Davis Reyes
Christopher Cook Lein Nguyen
Elijah Graves Mario Hernandez
The cocaine distribution group, with Alberto “Beto” Loya allegedly the local head, was dealing multiple kilo quantities of the drug in Greeley and those under him were moving it throughout the area. The seizure of the illegal marijuana grow netted 823 growing plants, nearly 17 pounds of packaged marijuana, and 4 pounds of marijuana concentrate.