4 jailed in heroin stakeout
Four people were arrested over the weekend as a result of Western Colorado Drug Task Force surveillance efforts that targeted a basement apartment west of Colorado Mesa University.
The arrests began Friday night, when 23-year-old Keaton Earl Eaton, 362 Rosevale Road, was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and unlawful distribution or possession of illegal substances.
According to an arrest affidavit, members of the task force saw Eaton leave the residence under surveillance at 834 Elm Ave. in a vehicle driven by 21-year-old Cari Albertson. Two Mesa County Sheriff’s Department deputies pulled over the vehicle on Colorado Highway 340 west of West Avenue for minor traffic violations and smelled a strong scent of raw marijuana inside the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
During a search of the vehicle, a deputy found a .22 caliber bullet, a glass marijuana pipe and heroin. The deputy found marijuana in Albertson’s purse and issued her a summons for suspected possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
The deputy searched Eaton and found several syringes and 18 Xanax pills in a jacket he was wearing. Eaton said the jacket belonged to a friend, according to the affidavit.
Early Saturday morning, Drug Task Force officers arrested 21-year-old Buddy Charles Cates and 19-year-old Stormie Nicole Fergeson, both of 834 Elm Ave. The task force was watching the house on a tip that someone was selling heroin from the basement apartment where Cates and Fergeson live.
A man contacted during surveillance also told task force members he bought heroin from a man named Buddy at the address, according to an arrest affidavit.
The Grand Junction Police Department SWAT Team executed a search warrant on the apartment at 4:15 a.m. Saturday and found 10 grams of suspected heroin, a small amount of suspected cocaine and psilocybin mushrooms, a baggie that contained less than 4 grams of suspected methamphetamine, a digital scale and four guns: a .22 caliber revolver, a 9mm pistol, an M4 .223 assault rifle and an SKS 7.62mm assault rifle.
Cates told task force members he travels to Denver every two days to purchase 7 to 20 grams of heroin, then sells the heroin for $200 per gram, according to the affidavit. He said he has been selling heroin for about six months and sells to four to eight customers daily.
Cates was arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of 4 grams or less of meth, controlled substances, and drug paraphernalia; and a special offender charge. Cates told law enforcement that Fergeson uses heroin but did not sell it. She was arrested on suspicion of the same charges as Cates.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, task force members arrested Luis Carlos Villalpando, 24, of 888 Glenwood Ave., on suspicion of money laundering, possession of controlled substances, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia, unlawful manufacture or sale of illegal substances, possession of weapons by a previous offender and a special offender charge.
A person contacted by drug task force members on Saturday said Villalpando is a heroin dealer who received 2 ounces of heroin Friday evening, according to an arrest affidavit.
A vehicle Villalpando was traveling in Saturday evening was pulled over by drug task force members. A search warrant was executed at his home while he was detained at the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department.
Villalpando told law enforcement he uses heroin and buys it regularly from Cates. He said he bought 2 grams of heroin from Cates on Friday, used part of it and destroyed the rest after he heard Cates had been arrested, according to the affidavit.
SWAT Team members who searched Villalpando’s home found a Victoria’s Secret bag that contained drug paraphernalia and several small baggies in a trash can behind the home. Inside the home, they also found a Ziploc-style bag that contained a brown residue consistent with heroin, a baggie that contained a small amount of suspected marijuana, and a large amount of cash.
Additionally, the SWAT Team discovered a pouch that contained two baggies of suspected heroin in a truck in the home’s garage. A roommate claimed ownership of a 12-gauge shotgun found in the garage.