DENVER (Reuters) - Authorities in Colorado broke up a drug trafficking ring and seized 55 pounds of methamphetamine, ending what prosecutors said on Monday was an audacious network that involved a food truck selling tacos "with a side of meth."
The state's Attorney General John Suthers said a five-week operation using five wiretaps led to one of the biggest meth busts in Colorado history, and to the dismantling of a group that was importing the drug from Mexico via California.
"The brazenness of this ring was astounding. For example, customers could literally walk up to a food truck and order a side of meth with their taco," Suthers said in a statement.
According to court documents, Juan Carlos Gonzalez, 37, would distribute the drug to members of the network for sale, including a 39-year-old woman accused of hawking it from a taco trailer at a busy intersection southwest of downtown Denver.
Gonzalez and 16 other people were indicted on charges including possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, violations of Colorado's anti-organized crime laws, conspiracy, money laundering, and tax evasion, officials said.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which worked with state law enforcement agencies, said guns, money and record amounts of meth were seized, including 55 pounds discovered hidden in the floor of a car driven by one of the suspects.
(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Doina Chiacu)