Authorities in Delta County reported finding guns, drugs, ammo and cash during Friday searches of two Delta homes and one in Austin.
Lonny Len Hilbers, 45, of Austin, was detained on suspicion of drug distribution or manufacturing; as a special offender on a class-1 drug felony; unlawful possession of drugs, and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.
Formal charges have not been filed and he is presumed innocent.
Hilbers cooperated with authorities and was arrested without incident, Delta County Undersheriff Quinn Archibeque said, after a joint news release from the Delta County Sheriff’s Office and Delta Police Department announcing the warrants and arrest.
The DCSO, DPD, 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation conducted a months-long investigation before securing the three search warrants and serving them on Friday.
“We’re fortunate it went smoothly and we have someone off the street that was (allegedly) in possession of these dangerous items,” Archibeque said.
According to the news release, the agents seized more than 2 ounces of methamphetamine; hundreds of fentanyl pills; possible psychedelic mushrooms; cash; drug paraphernalia and unspecified “evidence involving other criminal activity.”
Charges based on additional allegations may also be filed, the agencies’ announcement said.
The investigation remains active and several details are for now not being made public, Archibeque said.
“Obviously, when we’re talking about a narcotics operation — and it’s a relatively large narcotics operation for Delta County — we wanted to make sure we had the right people at the table with the ATF and the DEA. We had subject matter experts in all these areas that were able to provide input,” he said.
Coordination between agency partners was crucial to hitting three places at once with warrants.
“It takes a lot of manpower to do that. The safety of the community is first and foremost. We don’t want to create a situation where someone is barricaded, or they know we’re coming,” said Archibeque.
“Considering all the personnel that were involved and the stakes we’re talking about, the operation itself was relatively low-key. We did that by design.
“There was no storming the castle, or kicking in doors.”
Hilbers was jailed without bail Friday afternoon.
The Delta Combined Court did not yet have paperwork on Hilbers’ case Friday afternoon, so neither a court date nor affidavit was immediately available.
Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.