Six men arrested last week as part of a coordinated drug bust made their first appearance in district court Friday.
The men were arrested Aug. 25 as part of an extensive drug investigation conducted by the Meeker Police Department, with assistance from the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office and the Trident, a multi-county drug task force out of Glenwood Springs.
The men arrested are: Martin Durfee, Dillon Gaines, Ricky Lientz, Jason Ridgeway, Casey Story and Rob Watson. All but Lientz and Story have been released on bond. They remained in the Rio Blanco County Detention Center, as of Wednesday.
Durfee, Gaines, Lientz, Ridgeway and Story were charged with unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing, sale or possession of marijuana, and bond was set at $50,000. Watson was charged with marijuana conspiracy and possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana, and his bond was set at $3,000.
Asked if the cases involving the six men were related, Hervey said, “No, not really. They are separate incidents.”
The investigation that led to the arrests is ongoing.
“I think that’s accurate,” said Meeker Police Chief Bob Hervey of the operation’s status.
As far as whether there could be more arrests, Hervey said he couldn’t comment.
“I really can’t,” Hervey said. “We’re in the middle of it.”
The six men who were arrested appeared in court before Judge Denise Lynch of the 9th Judicial District.
A confidential informant was used in the investigation. As part of the undercover operations, the informant wore a wire, a hidden recording device, to record conversations. Officers also used a camera to photograph the suspects during surveillance.
The six men arrested on drug charges will appear in court again in September.