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Colorado Springs suspects arrested in plot to murder for drugs

A federal indictment has accused seven men of engaging in a drug trafficking conspiracy. Prosecutors claimed that six of the defendants also agreed to a murder-for-hire plan in which they would kill someone on the orders of a Mexican drug cartel in exchange for 5 kilos of cocaine and $50,000 in cash.

Two of the defendants are residents of Colorado Springs and a third is a resident of Denver.

Authorities began their investigation in January of last year after undercover agents stated that they had entered into discussions with one of the men about a proposed exchange of 500 pounds of marijuana to be supplied by the agents as partial payment for some stolen guns. The drugs were destined for eventual sale, according to the drug agents.

Subsequently, on Sept. 11, 2011, six of the men met with the undercover agents in Laredo, Texas, to discuss further drug transactions, according to the indictment. Agents said that a price of $350 per pound was set for the marijuana, with the proceeds to be used for weapons, including grenades, automatic rifles, other rifles, and handguns. The undercover agents were posing as members of the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel.

One of the indicted men allegedly was presented to the agents as available to train drug cartel operatives in security measures for drug trafficking operations, as well as supplying military weapons which were untraceable because their serial numbers were erased. The agents stated that he presented himself as an active duty officer in the U.S. Army. They further said that he then volunteered that he was available for contract killing work and to arrange a raid on a ranch to rob the occupants of 20 kilos of cocaine,

Source: heraldonline.com, "SC men indicted in multistate, murder-for-hire drug trafficking case," Kelly Davis, April 27, 2012

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