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3 Colorado Springs residents accused of distributing marijuana out of state

August 17, 2017 Updated: August 18, 2017 at 6:28 am
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photo - Medical marijuana plants grow at Rocky Mountain Miracles Friday, April 4, 2014.  Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette
Medical marijuana plants grow at Rocky Mountain Miracles Friday, April 4, 2014. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette 

Three Colorado Springs residents, including a soldier, have been arrested on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana out of state.

Emanuel Cruz Torres, his girlfriend Karina De La Villa and Libaldo Leon Horta were arrested a week after the Drug Enforcement Agency raided three properties owned by the trio.

Authorities seized 120 marijuana plants, 15.1 pounds of processed marijuana and an undisclosed amount of cash from 1410 Tamarisk Drive and 16175 Degroot Road, according to the criminal complaint.

A third property, 7134 Araia Drive, in Fountain, was "largely vacant" during the search, but had "evidence of a dismantled marijuana grow," the complaint said.

Cruz Torres owns the homes on Araia Drive and Tamarisk Drive, the latter of which sits across the street from Fox Meadow Middle School. Horta lives at the Degroot Road home.

No medical marijuana licenses or paperwork were at either property, the complaint said.

The investigation started May 11 with a traffic stop in Oklahoma.

Cruz Torres said he was on leave from Fort Riley, Kan., , and decided to visit a friend in Oklahoma City before driving back to Colorado Springs. The story raised the officer's suspicion, the complaint said.

During a search of Cruz Torres' vehicle, the officer found two empty duffel bags, no clothing, $37,861 in cash and "a small flake of marijuana," the complaint said.

In jail, Cruz Torres spoke frequently with De La Villa in Spanish about buying and selling roofing samples, discussing their color, style, cost and destination. Cruz Torres instructed the materials be "well dried," stuffed in plastic bags and sold in Colorado or Dallas, the complaint said.

Authorities said the two were "fully aware that they are on a recorded telephone line, and are speaking in coded language to discuss collecting marijuana samples for distribution," the complaint said.

Horta was arrested last year in Kansas while allegedly driving with 34 pounds of marijuana "to a gas station in Louisville, Ky., where he was going to meet a buyer," the report said. Horta told officers at the time he planned to sell the marijuana for $21,000.

It's unknown if Horta was charged.

Cruz Torres was released from jail Tuesday on an unsecured bond. It is unknown if De La Villa and Horta also were released.

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Contact Kaitlin Durbin: 636-0362

Twitter: @njKaitlinDurbin

Facebook: Kaitlin Durbin

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