Task force arrests suspected distributors

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— The All Crimes Enforcement Team, an area task force, arrested two men this week, both suspected of distributing narcotics, during separate search warrants executed in Steamboat Springs and Craig.

ACET announced Friday morning it had arrested Steamboat Springs resident Garrett Ruffen, 49, and Craig resident Eric Trefethen, 37, on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Both men have criminal backgrounds, according to court records.

Ruffen is charged with distribution of crack cocaine, a schedule 2 controlled substance, ACET reported.

Trefethen is charged with distribution of a schedule 2 controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a dangerous or illegal weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The arrests are the result of ongoing ACET investigations in Moffat and Routt counties, task force commander Garrett Wiggins said. The task force, Wiggins added, is making a dent in the local drug trade.

"During the past seven months, ACET has seized approximately $260,000 worth (street value) of illegal drugs from making its way into our communities," Wiggins said in a news release.

"ACET's success in investigating the illegal drug trade is due to the collaborative efforts by many of our area law enforcement agencies working together as a team. In addition, as our community members have become more educated on the impacts of the drug epidemic, and the crimes associated with the use of illegal drugs, they have become more involved and called the task force with information and complaints about drug dealers."

ACET, with the assistance of the Moffat County Special Response Team, arrested Trefethen after conducting a search warrant in the 1600 block of Yampa Ave. in Craig.

It resulted in authorities seizing "a large quantity" of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and "several high-powered rifles," including a loaded, fully automatic machine gun and a handgun.

The arrest demonstrates "the people involved in the illegal drug business can be heavily armed with illegal weapons and have a very negative impact on the quality of life for all the honest and hard-working citizens of the Yampa Valley," Wiggins said.

ACET officials were unavailable for further comment Friday.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

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