ATF and Denver police arrest 12 for organized crime related to motorcycle gangs

Details are scant after authorities held a press conference Thursday.

A house on Navajo Street near 33rd Avenue where a neighbor said authorties were heard and seen executing search warrants on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Denver. (Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite)

A house on Navajo Street near 33rd Avenue where a neighbor said authorties were heard and seen executing search warrants on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Denver. (Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Federal and local law enforcement provided few details on Thursday after executing 19 search warrants in Denver and the surrounding areas related to organized crime, leading to 12 arrests.

Some of the people arrested have ties to motorcycle gangs, agent David Booth from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives said. At least two gangs were involved but declined to specify the nature of the alleged crimes.

The searches were part of an investigation that started in June, Booth said during a press conference Thursday. The Denver Police Department was among the agencies that partnered with the ATF, who helped coordinate state and local agencies in the state.

An ATF spokesperson confirmed one person was injured when one of the warrants was executed in Golden. The person received medical attention at the scene, but the ATF spokesperson declined to detail the person’s status or condition.

Agent David Booth from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives speaks to reporters on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in downtown Denver. (Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite)

Agent David Booth from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives speaks to reporters on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in downtown Denver. (Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite)

“It’s a great example of showing how we’re combating crime in our community,” Booth said.

The suspects are awaiting specific charges from the Denver District Attorney’s Office, but Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said the charges will be filed under the state’s Organized Crime Control Act. These charges are filed when there’s a “criminal enterprise” involving several people working together to commit crimes, she said.

Charges will be filed in state court first. The city will work with the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office to determine whether federal charges will be filed. Narratives related to the arrests on Thursday will be sealed, McCann said.

The 19 locations searched were all in Colorado, ranging from Denver, the metro area, Colorado Springs and Weld County, Booth said.

Among the places searched by officials was a white building near Navajo St. and 33rd Avenue in the Highland neighborhood. Westword reported the location has been home to a Hells Angels clubhouse for more than two decades. Booth declined to say whether the Hells Angels were among the gangs investigated.

This story has been updated throughout. 

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