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The Northern Colorado Drug Task Force (NCDTF) has been conducting a long-term narcotics investigation into a drug trafficking organization operating in the Northern Colorado region believed to be distributing cocaine.  As the investigation progressed, detectives also learned that the presence of firearms was a common theme with this organization.

On October 5, 2022, multiple search warrants were executed with the assistance of several partner agencies.  The locations were:

1300 block of Nickel Drive, Loveland
900 block of East Swallow Road, Fort Collins
1000 block of East 5th Street, Loveland
300 block of 7th Street, Frederick

Throughout this operation many items were seized, and other property recovered.  These include, but are not limited to:

3.4 pounds of cocaine ($64,000 street value)
3.3 grams of fentanyl
17 firearms (1 suspected ghost gun)
$44,000 in US Currency
340 tabs of LSD
500 Xanax pills
5 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms
Narcotics distribution equipment

The following individuals were arrested on October 5 and booked into the Larimer County Jail.  Booking photos are attached.

Tray Renfro (03/12/1995) of Fort Collins was arrested for warrants: 4 counts Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substance (DF2 & DF3) and 2 counts Distribution of a Controlled Substance (DF2 & DF3).  Bond is $250,000.

Jose Angel Morales-Acevedo (06/21/2001) of Loveland was arrested for warrants: 2 counts Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substance (DF2) and 5 counts Distribution of a Controlled Substance (DF2).  Bond is $300,000.

Josue Hernandez-Tremillo (02/28/1993) of Frederick was arrested for warrants: 5 counts Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substance (DF2), Distribution of a Controlled Substance (DF2), and 6 counts Distribute Controlled Substance (DF2).  Bond is $300,000.

Cheyenne Lakoda Merlino (05/17/2001) of Loveland was arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute (DF2), Special Offender (DF1), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (DPO), and Child Abuse (M2).  Bond was set at $25,000 and she bonded out on October 6.

Aaron Marez (06/15/1996) of Loveland was arrested on October 6 for warrants:  4 counts Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance (DF2) and 4 counts Distribution of Controlled Substance (DF2).  Bond was set at $1,000 and he bonded out on October 6.  A booking photo is attached.

NCDTF detectives also secured arrest warrants for the following individuals who are still at large.

  • Noah Klausner (12/09/1999) of Windsor is wanted for 2 counts Distribution of Controlled Substance (DF2)
  • Soteros Palmer-Hillman (02/15/1997) of Parker is wanted for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance (DF2)
  • Trevor Gregory (07/25/1996) of Loveland is wanted for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance (DF2) and Distribution of a Controlled Substance (DF2)

This investigation is ongoing and additional arrests/charges are anticipated.  No additional information will be released at this time.

The NCDTF is very appreciative of the cooperation and teamwork by these local, state, and federal partners all working to keep our communities safe.  The success of “Operation Buy-In” thus far would not be possible without their assistance:

Fort Collins Police Services
Loveland Police Department
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office
Windsor Police Department
Colorado Adult Parole
Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office
Colorado National Guard Counterdrug
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Strategic Enforcement Unit
Frederick Police Department
Loveland Police Department Street Crimes Unit
Fort Collins Evidence Recovery Team
Fort Collins Police Services SWAT
Loveland Police SWAT
Larimer County Regional All Hazards/Crisis Response Team
Northern Colorado Bomb Squad
UCHealth Lifeline 1
Reach Air Medical Services

The charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

Click a photo to enlarge.



Published on: 
Saturday, October 8, 2022 - 9:03pm
Contact Details: 

Public Information Officer
Larimer County Sheriff's Office
(970)980-2501 |  Email

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