TRIDENT officers arrest three men near Parachute marijuana farm
Garfield County drug enforcement officers this week made three arrests after finding 890 marijuana plants growing in a remote canyon near Parachute in September, authorities said Thursday.
Officers with the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team, or TRIDENT, arrested Humberto Bautista Flores, 24; German Ortiz-Delgado, 26; and Luis Luna Flores, 31.
Humberto Flores and Luis Flores are being held on suspicion of two counts of cultivation of marijuana, a Class 4 felony, and possessing marijuana of more than 8 ounces, a Class 5 felony. Ortiz-Delgado was arrested on suspicion of one count of cultivation of marijuana and possessing marijuana of more than 8 ounces.
The three were stopped after a Garfield County deputy on patrol Tuesday observed a man running out of the woods and then jumping into a minivan along the road. The privately owned area the man ran from was
where extensive marijuana growth was discovered in September.
When officers searched the minivan, they found a large trash bag filled with more than 9.5 pounds of recently harvested marijuana.
According to the sheriff’s department, the land owners had no knowledge of the operation, which was near a stream that provided constant water to the site. Marijuana plants grew from 1 foot to 10 feet high, police said at the time of the September discovery. The TRIDENT officers had recovered the name of Humberto Flores from items they found at the grow site, officials said.
Cultivation of marijuana carries a penalty of two to six years in prison and a $2,000 to $500,000 fine, and possession of marijuana of more than 8 ounces carries a penalty of one to three years in prison and a $1,000 to $100,000 fine.
TRIDENT is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force funded through federal, state and local governments and includes officers from the Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Carbondale and Vail police departments and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department.
Anyone with information about drug trafficking in the area is asked to call 970-945-0744 or make contact online at http://www.tridentnarc.com.