Eight arrested in drug probe

Eight people face a variety of drug-related charges after a series of arrests Thursday around Mesa County, authorities said.

This, as arrest records remain sealed to the public.

Francisca Arias, 22; Carlos Deflin, 24; Dante Deflin, 27; Saul Deflin-Lopez, 25; Christopher Merle Franklin, 31; Kenneth Higgs, 59; David Ortego, 56; all of Grand Junction, and Kevin Smith, 32, of Fruita, were jailed on an assortment of charges after search warrants were executed at four homes in Mesa County on Thursday, according to the Western Colorado Drug Task Force.

The task force, which cited an ongoing investigation in refusing to release records or booking photos, said the arrests followed a four-month investigation centered on the alleged distribution of methamphetamine.

Charges range from possession to distribution of drugs, money laundering and weapons violations, the task force said.

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