Meth lab, deer poaching ring busted in Rio Blanco County

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Rio Blanco Sheriff Phil Stubblefield announced Monday that after a five-month investigation, two Meeker residents were arrested by officers of the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT) and Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office deputies.

Arrested were Frank Edgar Bardin, 45, of Meeker on Dec. 18 about 2 p.m. after Bardin was stopped for speeding on Rio Blanco County Road 65 outside Rangely. A consent search of the vehicle led to a drug detection canine alert on the vehicle. A hand search discovered about 19 grams of suspected methamphetamine. Officers arrested Bardin for possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance with intent to distribute, conspiracy to possess a Schedule II controlled substance, conspiracy to possess a Schedule II controlled substance with intent to distribute, use of a controlled substance and driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Bardin is being held on $43,500 bond.

The passenger in the vehicle, Clarence William Johns, 34, was arrested on a failure to appear warrant from Rio Blanco County Court. After the discovery of the suspected methamphetamine, Johns was arrested for conspiracy to possess a Schedule II controlled substance, conspiracy to possess a Schedule II controlled substance with intent to distribute and use of a controlled substance. Johns is being held on $23,400 bond.

About 6:30 p.m., officers with TRIDENT, Rio Blanco Sheriff's Office and the Rangely Police Department searched Frank Bardin's residence. Officers located packing materials, scales, nine rifles, one handgun and more suspected methamphetamine. Also during the search, officers located three deer hanging in the shed behind the residence. Officers contacted the Coolorado Division of Wildlife and Bardin was charged for possession of the deer.

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