Pot defendant in court

Another of the 10 people believed to be connected to a highly organized and well-financed criminal marijuana grow and processing operation busted in March was before a judge in Mesa County Thursday to answer for his role in the operation.

Diego Perez Rios, 51. a Cuban national, was described by a prosecutor as "instrumental" in at least one of the houses associated with the massive criminal operation. An affidavit for his arrest says he was associated with criminal grows at 2885 C 1/2 Road and 2530 S. 21 1/2 Road. When searched, those grows yielded 5.2 pounds of finished marijuana product, and 174 marijuana plants with a cut-down weight of 993 pounds, according to law enforcement.

On Thursday a public defender for Perez, through a Spanish-language interpreter, noted his lack of criminal history, but a judge issued a $35,000 cash-only bond in the case.

According to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office:

■ Christopher Wright, 36, is accused of drug possession on Thursday.

■ Deputies executed a search warrant Thursday in the 200 block of Boston Lane, and found products used in a butane hash oil extraction system. An arrest warrant subsequently was requested for Anthony Garcia, 46.

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