Two charged in raid return to court

Two men charged in last month's drug raids -- including an alleged leader of a drug organization that once operated in Moffat and Routt counties -- are scheduled to appear in Moffat County Court Wednesday.

A preliminary hearing for Benito Gomez Medrano is set for 3 p.m. before Judge Mary Lynne James.

Medrano, 37, faces a nine-count felony complaint alleging possession and distribution of a controlled substance. Medrano also is charged with felony contributing to the delinquency of a minor in the alleged use of a juvenile boy to distribute drugs.

The boy, 16, allegedly distributed drugs in two separate transactions involving an officer of the Grand, Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team (GRAMNET), according to Medrano's arrest warrant.

The warrant had remained sealed by James since Medrano and six other adults were charged in the case. Police executed three search warrants on April 7 in Craig and Hayden -- the culmination of what authorities said was a six-month investigation into a drug organization active throughout the region. The organization was supplied with drugs from Mexico, according to police.

Undercover task force officers allegedly purchased cocaine and methamphetamine from Medrano on four different occasions, according to the arrest warrant.

The document also states that Medrano was deported from the United States in March 1997 while facing felony drug charges in Oregon.

He is being held at the Moffat County Jail on $250,000 bond.

Also Wednesday, the case of Luis Alcantar Burciaga, 26, is scheduled for review at 10 a.m. before

James.

Burciaga, one of several individuals to have allegedly sold drugs in connection to the group, faces felony charges of possession and distribution of a controlled substance

Burciaga's arrest warrant alleges that he sold cocaine from his Craig apartment to a GRAMNET officer in a Nov. 4 transaction.

He is being held at the jail at the request of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com

Commenting has been disabled for this item.