RANGELY I “This is not easy to do and it takes a lot of time,” Rangely Chief of Police Vincent Wilczek said of the recent arrests involving the illegal distribution of drugs within the town. “There is a sense of pride for our police department for taking the stance and moving it forward. I think the citizens of Rangely appreciate it.”
Officers from seven agencies including the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Department, Meeker Police Department, Grand Junction K-9, Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Trident, Colorado Liquor Enforcement and the Rangely Police Department arrested six individuals without incident Aug. 31 and executed search and seizure warrants of businesses and residential properties connected with the suspects.
Individuals arrested included Ryan Lynne Nay (37), Nathaneal Lee (32) and Karen Elaine Richardson (51), Dara Rowley (21), Thaddeus John Ryder (24), all of Rangely, and Timber Nicole Morland (18) of Dinosaur.
Nay is part owner of Betty’s Cafe in Rangely and the Richardsons live in a house attached to the Ace-Hi Tavern.
All six were charged with at least one felony count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, except for Rowley, who was charged with two counts of distributing marijuana, a class five felony. Morland and Rowley made bond but the other four remain in custody in Meeker in the Rio Blanco County jail.
The ongoing investigation started in June, after it was approved by the Rangely public safety committee and Lieutenant Roy Kinney was assigned tactical oversight of the investigation. A confidential source was used to identify several individuals involved in the use and distribution of illegal drugs and a recording device was used when drug purchases were made from the suspects.
“It made for a long summer but we’re pleased with how it turned out,” Kinney said. “No one got hurt and that is the most important thing.”
Kinney could not discuss what was found in the searches or what was seized since the investigation will continue. Kinney said the Rangely Town Council discussed the liquor licenses for Betty’s Cafe and Ace-Hi Tavern in executive session Tuesday.
“People are tired of the drug usage in town and want the cops and community to deal with it,” Kinney said. “We want it out.”