MESA COUNTY, Colo. – Four people arrested on felony charges at the Colorado-Utah border have been release from custody. Derrick Holmes, 25, of Virginia, Brian Hartman, 37, of Virginia, Erika Valles Garcia, 23, of California, and Makayla Kristine Lopez, 19, of California were arrested earlier this month for unlawful possession of drugs and firearms, and in turn, they were placed in the Mesa County Detention Facility.
The arrest was the result of an operation off I-70 in Mesa County near the Utah border. Investigators with the Western Colorado Drug Task Force partnered with members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Colorado State Patrol, Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, and other state as well as federal agencies to intercept the possession of the contraband. The two-day operation seized 600lbs of marijuana, 33g of Psilocybin Mushrooms, 1200 marijuana vape pens, 200g of marijuana concentration, cocaine, and ecstasy (both consistent with personal use). The task force also confiscated 2 illegally owned AR Pistols and 2 handguns, as well as 2 bullet proof vests, and approximately $19,000 in bulk currency.
Heidi Davidson from the Grand Junction Police Department says, “drug crimes are sort of in the center of a web of other criminal activities that can involve weapons, property crime, and other activities in Mesa County. The formation of the drug task force allows us to focus on those and make it a safer community for everybody who lives here.”
Davidson also says that I-70 is a common highway for illegal substances to travel through, and therefore, the task force is essential to keeping hundreds of pounds of illegal drugs off the streets in Mesa County and ensuring a safer community.