Drug Ring Busted for Selling Meth from a Taco Truck

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

Gone are the days when drug dealers peddled their products out of dark alleyways or from the bathrooms of seedy downtown clubs. No, today’s drug dealers are much more brazen. They’ve come out of the shadows, getting “creative” with their marketing and setting up shop in the front door of society. Luckily, authorities are busting up these drug rings in record numbers. The latest shocking drug bust went down in Colorado, where a group of brazen dealers were caught selling methamphetamine out of a taco truck.

Operation Cargo

Colorado authorities announced yesterday that they’d taken down a meth operation in the Denver area, resulting in the indictment of 17 people and the seizure of 55 pounds of methamphetamine. The haul is worth an estimated $750,000. The joint federal and local law enforcement drug operation, dubbed “Operation Cargo,” is one of the largest meth seizures in state history.

The group obtained a continuous supply of methamphetamine smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. The drugs were hidden inside a secret compartment deep within the floorboard of a Mini Cooper.

Authorities also seized a large cache of unregistered guns and money as a result of Operation Cargo.

Players in the Game

Juan Carlos Gonzalez, 37, has been identified as the leader of the illegal operation. Authorities say Gonzalez ran the international meth operation from the comfort of his BMW, directing and organizing drug dealers, facilitating drug storage, and overseeing money laundering.

Police say Gonzalez received the drugs from Oscar Ruvalcaba, 28, who drove the drug-packed Mini Cooper into Colorado from Mexico and California. Once the meth made its way into Denver, Gonzalez allegedly distributed it among several members of the ring, including his aunt, Maria Arellano, 39, who owned the taco truck.

All but two of the ring’s 17 members have been arrested and face 64 different charges, varying from racketeering to distribution of a controlled substance.

“The brazenness of this ring was astounding,” said Attorney General John Suthers. “For example, customers could literally walk up to a food truck and order a side of meth with their taco.”

Keep Your Eyes Open

Signs of drug dealing in a neighborhood vary, however there are some tale-tell characteristics. Those are:

  • An increase in traffic at a residence
  • Elaborate surveillance systems
  • Lookouts on the front porch or street corner

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