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RANGELY I Wednesday morning 26 officers from seven agencies participated in several arrests and property searches and seizures. The operation was very well organized and all activity happened without incident. Officers from the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Department, Meeker Police Department, Grand Junction K-9, Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Trident, Colorado Liquor Enforcement and the Rangely Police Department organized and executed the warrants detailing felony activity. Also participating and on standby were Rangely District Hospital, Dr. Chris Adams and Shanna Kinney with the Rangely Ambulance Service.
Approximately 12 weeks ago Rangely Police Chief Vincent Wilzcek and Lieutenant Roy Kinney recommended the aggressive pursuit of illegal drug trafficking in Rangely. The investigation was initially approved by the Town Council’s Public Safety Committee and Chief Wilzcek assigned tactical oversight to Lt. Kinney.
During the development of this investigation, Lt. Kinney assigned the management of the operation. The Rangely Police Department coordinated activity with the DEA, who also provided tactical support, equipment and additional funding for the operation. The investigation yielded several suspects and resulted in warrants for the arrest of seven individuals and the search and seizure of businesses and residential properties connected with the suspects.
The operation took hundreds of hours of work on all shifts within the Rangely Police Department and the DEA. Each Rangely police officer was directly involved in various aspects of the operation. They coordinated with the DEA to develop various aspects of evidence.
The investigation revealed a network of drug related activity encompassing several suspects and businesses. The investigation is still ongoing and further arrests are anticipated.
The suspects were booked in Rangely and will be transported to the county jail in Meeker.
Significant credit for the operation goes to Chief Wilzcek and Lieutenant Kinney, K-9 officer Michael Schwartzengraber and his dog Rio, officer Tirynn Hamlin and officer Keith Hood as well as members of all the participating agencies.
“Overall, the town of Rangely is pleased with the outcome of this ongoing investigation and the performance of its officers. We are appreciative of the support and direction of the town council and its public safety committee, as they provided support and resources to begin the investigation, which helped in maintaining the confidentiality of the operation,” said Rangely Town manager Peter Brixius.