Photos: See the fourteen people arrested in $450K meth ring bust

Categories: Colorado Crimes

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Big photos below.
Meth suspects, like every other arrestee in these United States, is innocent until proven guilty, and that's the way it should be. But most of us have noticed that in booking photos, those accused of such crimes tend to look, well, rough.

That's certainly the case for the fourteen people fitted with cuffs in relation to an alleged southwestern Colorado meth ring -- an operation allegedly run by Bayfield's Joseph Fitapelli, aka "Italian Joe." Authorities say they've confiscated ten pounds of meth, around $10,000 in cash and more.

According to the Durango Herald, the investigation, overseen by the Southwest Drug Task Force, has been underway for months -- and it's not over. Additional arrests are possible not just in these parts, but in other states. Connections are said to reach as far as Nevada, California and drug cartels in Mexico.

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Cash seized by authorities looking into the meth ring.
The majority of those busted to date are from Colorado. In addition to Fitapelli, 55, local products include Danielle Burton, 38; Pamela Chandler, fifty; Ronnie Gunkel, 41; Milton Korthank, 38; Derrik Martinez, 28; Aaron McMinn, 41; Travis Shield, 49; and Peyton St. Germain, 21. They're joined in custody by a quartet from Las Vegas -- Jose Garcia-Ochoa, 19; Daniel Gastelo-Ochoa, 24; Cristain Lopez, 22; and Miguel Miranda-Sanchez, 23. And 58-year-old Loyd Groomer lives in Farmington, New Mexico.

Fitapelli is said to be at the center of the ring, and he was apparently well paid for his efforts. During a traffic stop, cops reportedly found as much as $10,000 in cash on his person.

This discovery appears to have caused him understandable distress. The Herald notes that Fitapelli suffered a "health crisis" that required treatment in Denver.

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Meth seized as part of the Southwest Drug Task Force's operation.
Additionally, a traffic stop in Las Vegas resulted in four pounds worth of meth being discovered, 9News reports.

Officials estimate that the ring generated around $450,000 in revenue, and by shutting it down, La Plata County Sheriff Duke Schirard believes authorities put "a pretty good hit on the meth trade," he tells the Herald. "This operation will slow up business in the area."

But it won't stop it. The Herald notes the likelihood that "new dealers will step up to fill the void.... Meanwhile, meth users hard up for a hit will buy over-the-counter drugs such as Sudafed, iodine from feed stores and pounds of matches from which they will strip the phosphorus to concoct their own meth at home."

Continue to see mug shots of those taken into custody thus far.

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Pamela Chandler.

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Derrik Martinez.
Continue to see more of the fourteen people arrested in relation to an alleged southwestern Colorado meth ring.


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36 comments
stevewit27
stevewit27

METAL THIEVES! DUMB METH USERS NEED LIFE IN PRISON!

Jessica Busby
Jessica Busby

Being arrested may save some of these people's lives.

Ty Sharp
Ty Sharp

Lol I have seen worse than these idiots!!!

Kendra Prieto
Kendra Prieto

Uh.. Yaw, they all look like meth heads. Lol, yuck.

Anthony B Garcia
Anthony B Garcia

WOW! Looks like each one of these p.o.s got into the supply! What's the old dealer saying? "Don't get high on your own supply."

Ɓŕőķeʼn Ŀůʼnģz
Ɓŕőķeʼn Ŀůʼnģz

That's terrible, I live close to Bayfield and this makes me want to vomit. At least they got em'.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "Meth suspects, like every other arrestee in these United States, is [sic] innocent until proven guilty,"


Classic Michael Roberts stoner grammar FAIL!

Brent Koenig
Brent Koenig

I miss the days when drug dealers looked like Johnny Depp in Blow.

Tessa Harrmann
Tessa Harrmann

A lot of them lived in bayfield or went to school in bayfield

Kyle Wolff
Kyle Wolff

This is crazy, one of these dealers lives in Durango, Co. Must of been pretty wide spread.

ShesNotNormal
ShesNotNormal

Meth freak losers. This is a drug that will definitely ruin your life.

Casey Schaefer
Casey Schaefer

I don't think these people followed the old code- Don't get high on your own supply.

Jay Baca
Jay Baca

Finally some tooth decay prevention.

Rian Milehigh
Rian Milehigh

lol those pics could be considered glamorous compared to the underworld of meth.

Cecily Leora
Cecily Leora

People who spread this type of evil and disease must be taken off of the streets. I feel bad for people like this, they have fallen victims to this life ruining addiction.

Dani Ernst
Dani Ernst

They just make it look so glamorous in the mugshots.

Robert Burrows
Robert Burrows

Lock em all up! Meth is one of the most evil things on this planet!

Douglas Evans
Douglas Evans

The war on drugs is a trillion dollar unconstitutional war on personal freedom Since when is it the governments job to stop consenting adult from doing drugs....even if its a sh*tty drug like meth Meth, the modern day moonshine.

seanmilano
seanmilano

No one wants meth in the mix.  I wish the DEA and the cops would make it public enemy #1, because it is.  

LindaLee Law
LindaLee Law

What no pot? Dang then they could have gotten one of those new DUIs lol, Yeah let's ban pot

Rian Milehigh
Rian Milehigh

And every last of one them sucked D for it too

Angela Marie
Angela Marie

All that dope will be put back into circulation so they can rake in the 450k-vicious cycle! Welcome to the dope game, corporately owned and operated

Rian Milehigh
Rian Milehigh

i hate cops, and never like seeing ppl get rolled. But meth is a different kind of evil, and I'm glad this stellar group of ppl got caught. They are getting a slap on the wrist compared to what I'd like to see done to them. good riddance, they need help.

Brad Aerts
Brad Aerts

Jp Morgan gets a slap on the wrist for laundering billions .but good job

James Bullard
James Bullard

Erin, this should make you happy. 4lbs of meth gone off the streets, and distributors taken out!

Blob
Blob

@DonkeyHotay Half of them where Mexicans. But you're right in one way .math is way to complicated to make for a black. Niggas are to dumb for the chemistry involved . Better stick to shooting each other and random sex crimes

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