COLORADO, USA — An eight-month investigation called Operation Malverde has resulted in multiple arrests and seizures of illegal drugs, weapons and cash by the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force (NCDTF), according to a news release from the Larimer County Sheriff's Office (LCSO).
Taskforce investigators seized the following while executing search warrants Sept. 10 across Northern Colorado:
- 37.85 pounds of methamphetamine (some believed to be laced with Fentanyl for addictive qualities)
- 108 grams of heroin
- 5 pounds of marijuana
- 213 pills of Oxycodone and Fentanyl
- 11 grams of mushrooms
- 6 grams of cocaine
- 6 rifles/shotguns
- 6 handguns
- $13,000 in cash
NCDTF executed eight search and arrest warrants using SWAT teams in Arvada, Aurora, Berthoud, Campion, Denver, Fort Collins and Thornton.
The following individuals have been arrested to date, according to the release:
- Howard John Trowbridge of Denver, DOB 05/12/1957
- Karen Jean Latulip of Berthoud, DOB 09/26/1959
- Jacob Rettenberger of Estes Park, DOB 07/26/1982
- Lynne Francis Tenery of Campion, DOB 12/13/1972
- Arnet Emile Cotton of Cheyenne, Wyoming, DOB 05/17/1969
- Natasha Jean Latulip of Loveland, DOB 01/05/1983
- Michael Dean Gonser of Lakewood, DOB 02/28/1968
- Matthew Xavier Lucero, homeless in Fort Collins, DOB 12/20/1999
- Raymond Michael Gefroh of Fort Collins, DOB 10/19/1965
- Bruce Wayne Iskowitsch of Loveland, DOB 03/08/1962
Altogether, the suspects face more than 120 felony allegations including:
- Colorado Organized Crime Control Act
- Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances
- Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering
- Distribution of Controlled Substances
- Money Laundering
- Possession of a Weapon by Previous Offender
- Special Offender – Distribute Controlled Substances While in Possession of Firearm
- Special Offender – Significant Source of Income and Special Skills
- Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances
- Driving Under Influence of Drugs
- Obstructing / Resisting Peace Officer
- Violation of Bail Bond Conditions
- Habitual Criminal
- Possession of Controlled Substance
The investigation is ongoing and several suspects are still at large, according to the release.
One of those suspects, Ismael Ivan Mojica-Garcia, is a Sinaloa Drug Cartel cell head and should be considered armed and very dangerous, according to the Sheriff's Office. Mojica-Garcia has multiple active felony warrants for his arrest related to Operation Malverde and has a pending deportation hearing, the release said.
Mojica-Garcia drives a blue 2010 Chevrolet Corvette with temporary Colorado license plate #1103924, investigators said. The public is urged not to approach him.
If you see him or have any information on his whereabouts, call 911 or local law enforcement agency immediately.
“The level of cooperation among our federal, state and local law enforcement contributed to the success of this operation," said LCSO Captain and NCDTF Commander Joe Shellhammer. "More than 10,000 labor hours have gone into Operation Malverde and we still have important work to do.”
Shellhammer added that the investigation spanned past Colorado’s borders as well as into Mexico.
Several agencies across Colorado assisted with Operation Malverde, which began in May 2019 following the fatal heroin overdose of a 40-year-old man in north Fort Collins.
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