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Brothers accused of selling fentanyl and cocaine from Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquors

Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquor bust
Posted at 1:51 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 10:23:47-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Police have arrested Brian and Steven Yi on felony charges for allegedly selling fentanyl pills, cocaine, THC gummies, marijuana, and assorted pills at Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquors.

"And it's all being sold off the same counter you can buy a beer from," said a spokesperson for the Colorado Springs Police Department.

According to police, detectives were able to make several undercover purchases from the location on N Academy near the intersection of Austin Bluffs Drive. Those buys took place in May.

"Individuals who distribute fentanyl in our community... The drug business is driven by greed, and greed crosses all boundaries, all social boundaries, all economic boundaries, race and sex."

This Monday, members of the Armed Violent Offender Unit arrested the brothers at the location on felony drug and conspiracy charges.

There's no information available yet on whether additional suspects could face charges in this investigation. The liquor license for the business is not in the name of the brother's but the owner has the same last name, according to state records.

Items seized in the release include:

  • $36,000 in cash
  • 2,000 fentanyl pills
  • 2.36 lbs cocaine
  • 1.55 lbs THC gummies
  • 2.14 lbs marijuana
  • 14.6 grams Xanex
  • 11.3 grams oxycodone pills
  • 3 handguns
  • 1 semiautomatic rifle

The store was open two days after the arrests with customers consistently flowing in and out on Wednesday afternoon, until the store closed about five hours early, shortly after News 5 went in to ask questions.

"I've personally lost friends to fentanyl overdoses, so that's very terrifying. I'm fully aware of what it does and to hear that that was something being sold here, just again like I'm speechless... They could've been literally trying to support their family and make ends mean, but at the same time that's putting people's lives at risk," said one woman who says she goes to the liquor store at least three times a week.

In a release, CSPD Chief Adrian Vasquez stated “Greed is what drives the drug business, not a lack of knowledge about the dangers of fentanyl. This is where criminal laws must step in and hold people accountable. While I am immensely proud of the work of our officers and detectives, they can only work within the laws that are written by the legislature. This is a community problem that will require a community response to fix.”

He added that recent legislation from the Colorado General Assembly "fails to understand how and why suspects are distributing fentanyl in our community."

The Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention Bill was signed by Governor Polis in May. Opponents raised concerns about a provision that allowed people to claim they did not know they possessed fentanyl, which was taken out of the final measure.

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