Police bust 156 violent offenders in recent sweeps


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  • Courtesy U.S. Marshal Service Office of Public Affairs
A multi-agency effort, called Operation Triple Beam, in the past 90 days went after the most violent offenders involved in gang activity, and has swept 156 offenders off the streets of southern Colorado.

The results:
• 156 arrests
• 26 firearms seized, including 10 fully automatic rifles
• 1.3 kilograms of methamphetamine seized
• 739 grams of cocaine seized
• Six stolen vehicles recovered
• $89,087 in illicit funds recovered
  • Courtesy U.S. Marshal Service Office of Public Affairs
That makes communities safer, said Pueblo Police Chief Troy Davenport. "I can tell you that from 2015 forward, we have seen less gang specific homicides," he said.

Davenport was among officials from an array of local, state and federal agencies who appeared at a news conference Aug. 22 at the Colorado Springs Police Operations Center to highlight the 90-day sweep.

Agencies involved included the U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal, Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff's Office, Pueblo Police Department, Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, State Department of Corrections, Colorado Bureau of Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
  • Courtesy U.S. Marshal Service Office of Public Affairs
The southern Colorado operation was part of a nationwide effort that led to the arrest of more than 8,000 people, U.S. Marshal David Weaver said.

In Colorado Springs, 63 offenders were arrested and face charges of 88 felonies and 24 misdemeanors; five guns were seized and a small amount of drugs were confiscated.

U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer said while the numbers don't seem large compared to some law enforcement busts that snag hundreds of guns or millions of dollars worth of drugs and cash, the operation made a big difference in getting the bad guys off the streets.

Troyer noted the operation's goal was to arrest individuals, not catch them with large amounts of drugs or money or guns, which is usually the goal in long-term drug investigations.

"All of these seizures were ancillary to the focus of the operation — to get the people," he said.

That meant all the agencies cooperating in connecting the dots on which violent offenders were known to authorities based on outstanding warrants or parole violations, and then finding and arresting them, he said.

Troyer couldn't say how many remain behind bars but noted prosecutors are sorting through how the offenders will be handled. His office, he said, decided to prosecute three offenders in federal court.

  • Courtesy U.S. Marshal Service Office of Public Affairs
"There are our most violent guys," he added.

Here's a news release:
A large-scale gang enforcement operation, dubbed “Operation Triple Beam Colorado,” in which a number of Colorado law enforcement agencies partnered with the U.S. Marshals Service from May 15 through August 10, led to the arrest of 156 people. OTB Colorado saw the participation of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado Department of Corrections, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, Pueblo Police Department, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Attorney’s Office, all working on the U.S. Marshals Service-led operation aimed at providing communities with immediate relief from gang-related violence by targeting fugitive gang members and the organizations responsible for committing violent crimes. The District of Colorado’s U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force (COVOTF) specifically targets violent offenders with active local, state and federal arrest warrants. The task force is composed of law enforcement agencies located in Colorado that choose to participate in apprehending violent offenders in our communities. “This joint operation had the added effect of strengthening the relationship among our local, state and federal law enforcement counterparts,” said David Weaver, U.S. Marshal for the District of Colorado. “The U.S. Marshals provided multiple resources to include manpower, funds and essential equipment to assist local, state and federal partners in this operation.” Since its inception in 2010, Operation Triple Beam has been conducted 50 times nationwide, resulting in more than 8,000 arrests and the seizure of more than 1,800 illegal firearms.

Notable arrests:

• Lester Bell, Gangster Disciple, homicide: Arrested by U.S. Marshals Colorado Violent Offender Task Force on May 15, in Boulder County. Bell was wanted for a cold case gang related murder that occurred in the summer of 2000 during a robbery where the victim was beaten to death with a baseball bat.

• Joshua Pacheco, East Side Dukes/ dangerous drugs: U.S. Marshals Colorado Violent Offender Task Force on May 17 in Pueblo County. Pacheco is an East Side Dukes member wanted for distribution of controlled substances in Pueblo County. Pacheco was armed with a handgun at time of arrest. Arrest led to search warrant and seizure of five firearms, 23.6 grams of methamphetamine, 30.7 grams of black tar heroin, and the recovery of one stolen vehicle. Pacheco was subsequently charged federally for Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

• Christopher Bynum, capital murder: Arrested by U.S. Marshals Colorado Violent Offender Task Force in Denver on June 1. Wanted for capital murder out of Arkansas for murder related to drug trafficking, Bynum was armed at time of arrest in Colorado, which led to an additional search warrant resulting in the seizure of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and three firearms. 


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