14 arrested in Southwestern Colorado meth ring

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DURANGO, Colo. The Southwest Drug Task Force, in conjunction with the DEA, continued a long term investigation of a methamphetamine distribution organization by arresting 14 people.

At the center of the investigation was Joseph Fitapelli, 58, of Bayfield. Investigators with the task force stopped a a car driven by two men that were destined for Fitapelli with approximately four pounds of methamphetamine.

Fitapelli was arrested after a seperate traffic stop and was in possession of between $8,000 - $10,000 in cash.

Throughout the investigation approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of about $450,000 has been seized. Investigators say stolen property, including weapons, also was seized.

The task force says it has confirmed the ring has connections to Las Vegas, California and Mexican drug cartels.

The case is still under investigation and other arrests are expected.

Joseph Fitapelli

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