NewsCovering Colorado


Ring leader in drug trafficking operation sentenced to prison

Posted at 2:08 PM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 16:08:42-05

DENVER – 60-year-old Jose Tapia-Rubio of Aurora was sentenced Tuesday by a U.S. District Court Judge to serve eight years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and conspiracy to conduct an unlawful financial transaction.

Following his release, Tapia-Rubio will have five years of supervised release.

Tapia-Rubio is one of 17 defendants charged in this large-scale prosecution of a drug trafficking organization (DTO).

The individuals involved were charged in April 2017 and Tapia-Rubio pled guilty in June 2018 and was sentenced on March 5, 2019.

According to court documents and evidence presented in court, Tapia-Rubio and his co-conspirators played significant roles in the DTO.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized 12.5 kilograms of cocaine, 1.2 pounds of methamphetamine, around $692,000 in cash, two homes valued at approximately $615,600, three vehicles valued at around $28,650 and 11 firearms.

“Targeting drug traffickers and focusing on the top of their organizations is an important role for the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn said.  “Thanks go to the agents from the DEA, IRS CI and the Aurora Police Department who worked tirelessly on this case.”

The investigation revealed the drugs were being brought in from Mexico to California then transported to Colorado and sold to customers in the Denver metro area as well as people in Breckenridge, Aspen, and New Castle.

The DTO received, off-loaded, store and sold drugs at El Rancho Market in Aurora, ran by Tapia-Rubio. Police also found a stash house in Aurora.

Steven Osborne, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation stated, “This is an important victory for the American public.  Not only is a criminal going to jail for his crimes, but the government has seized a significant amount of illegal proceeds through asset forfeiture.  The role of IRS CI in narcotics investigations is to follow the money so we can financially disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations.  IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to provide its financial expertise as we work alongside our law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice.”