After more than six months of investigation authorities, local and federal, have not come up with enough evidence to file criminal charges in connection to five fentanyl-related deaths in Commerce City in February.

On Feb. 20, five people were found dead inside an apartment, they all died of unintentional fentanyl overdoses after ingesting cocaine, and not realizing the drug had been laced with deadly fentanyl.

“Unfortunately, after six months of this intense undertaking, the evidence that exists today has not and will not lead us to an arrest or the filing of a charged case. We will continue to investigate any new leads that may come in,” Adams County District Attorney Brian Mason said on Wednesday in a news release.

The Commerce City Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, the North Metro Drug Task Force, and Mason’s office have “followed numerous leads, reviewed surveillance video, conducted countless interviews, obtained and evaluated cell phone data, utilized DNA, and exhausted every possible piece of evidence that might lead to the source of the fentanyl that caused these deaths,” the release said.

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Fentanyl deaths in Colorado increased more than tenfold in the past five years — from 81 in 2017 to more than 900 in 2021 — and there is no indication they’re slowing. Fentanyl killed more Coloradans last year than homicides or traffic crashes.

Family members of fentanyl overdose victims in Colorado have been critical of police investigations, claiming that not enough is being done.

The people who died in the North Range Crossings Apartments, along 104th Avenue, are: Sabas Daniel Marquez, 24; Karina Joy Rodriguez, 28; Stephine Sonya Monroe, 29; and Humberto Arroyo-Ledezma, 32; and Jennifer Danielle Cunningham, 32.

A 29-year-old woman and a 4-month-old infant were inside the apartment and survived the incident.

“On February 20, 2022, our community became the latest example of the unrelenting toll fentanyl is taking on communities across the country,” Mason said. “That night five of our residents died from fentanyl poisoning in one of the largest mass incidents of this sort in the United States. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who died in this tragic incident in February.”

Adams County – The Denver Post

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96th Ave, between Buckley Road and Tower Road, was a fairly innocuous stretch after opening in 2015. Fast forward half a dozen years and it seems to be a major thoroughfare for trucks moving from highway 85 to Tower Road. Adding to the stress of the road, two streets from the Southlawn area pushed through from the north and Buffalo Highlands was built to the south.

As the traffic count has gone up, so has the accident count. One resident, who’s house backs up to 96th, said that there have probably been 12 to 16 accidents at the intersections over the past year, and single vehicle accidents during snowstorms are in the dozens.

Over the past month there have been four multi-car accidents on this stretch of the road. Residents are getting concerned and want the city to do something about it.

A city council member reported that the city will be installing a temporary traffic signal at the intersection of Telluride/Reunion Pkwy and 96th as a short-term fix until 96th is built-out and a permanent signal is installed. This will however take six to eight months, which many believe is too long.

Several residents have suggested that concerned citizens can help by submitting a request asking the city to act faster at www.c3gov.com/living-in/ask-c3.

It’s getting to be old hat for 27J Schools and city officials. They – and others – turned out Aug. 26 for the second groundbreaking for 27J Schools’ STEM and CTE …

– Latest Stories

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It may surprise some of you to know that our neighbor and mayor is also a professional photographer.

Last year he was able to be featured with two photos in the Bank of Colorado annual calendar and with your help, his work can be included again this year.

To vote for one or both of Benjamin Huseman’s photos, view and ‘like’ the photo on Facebook from the following links:

The sunflower field photo is in the summer album.
The buffalo photo is in the winter album.

Bison Ridge Recreation Center, 13905 E. 112th Ave., will be closed Aug. 22-Sept. 2 for annual maintenance. Eagle Pointe Recreation Center, 6060 E. Parkway Dr., will remain open during this closure. 

Remember, your pass is good at both recreation centers!

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– Latest Stories

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The Denver Farmers Market decided to not continue the market at the STEAD School location in Reunion. All remaining scheduled dates have been canceled.
🙁

Twenty-year homeowner, Jennifer Rylatt, from the Eagle Creek subdivision in Commerce City was recently honored by The Admin Awards www.adminawards.com for the “Above the Call” award. The category honors admin professionals who don’t just perform their job tasks but look for opportunities to improve processes and seek ways to cut costs through the concepts of Six Sigma, build rapport with team members, and customers, push themselves beyond expectations, mentor and carry themselves as a role model for those around them.

“Jennifer often says that anyone in her type of position is invisible if they are great at their job. That is so true, often I don’t even know how she gets things to happen as I just show up and shine! Jennifer knows how to get things done, how to recognize an issue and improve a process, and how to move things forward within the city system.”

Brendan J. Hanlon, Former Deputy Mayor and CFO, Department of Finance, City & County of Denver           

In her spare time Jennifer works out at the Eagle Point recreation center therapy pool and is getting certified to teach water aerobics. She can be spotted out on a long bike ride (always wearing pink), working in her yard, and playing with her dogs. She is a singer, songwriter, and author, too, check it out: www.ohnonosnow.com.

Risas Dental and Braces is hosting their 9th annual Labor of Love where patients can choose from one of the four following free treatments:  a basic cleaning, filling, simple extraction, or exam and X-Ray at select participating Risas Dental location from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, September 5th. This year, Risas Dental will also be offering free orthodontic consultations for any patients interested in braces or clear aligners.

Risas Dental treated over 1,200 patients during their 2021 Labor of Love event. Risas Dental estimates they will give away over $500,000 in free dental care during the event this year across all participating offices in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas.

“Labor of Love changes the lives of thousands of people in a single day, every year. We understand that rising costs and the pandemic have made it difficult for many to get the treatment they need,” says Jeff Adams, CEO of Risas Dental and Braces. “The free treatments offered during Labor of Love are essential in preventing larger health issues from arising later.”

Not every Risas Dental location will be participating in the Labor of Love event. Participating Denver locations include:

● Wheat Ridge – 3815 N. Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

● Aurora South – 3575 S. Chambers Rd., Aurora, CO 80014

● Aurora North – 11479 E Colfax Ave., Aurora, CO 80010

● Federal Heights – 8383 N Pecos St., Denver, CO 80221

● Commerce City – 6091 Dexter St., Commerce City, CO 80022

“I haven’t been able to afford to get two of my teeth fixed and I haven’t been able to chew on my right side. I now can,” said Amber F., a past Labor of Love patient in an online review.

After this year’s Labor of Love, Risas Dental will have given away over $9.1 million in free dental care since the company’s inception in 2011.

Live entertainment and music will be provided by local radio stations including FLO 107.1, Channel 93.3, Que Bueno 97.7, La Invasora 87.7, and Hits 95.7.

For more information on Labor of Love, please visit https://risasdental.com/labor-of-love/

The South Adams County Fire Department dedicated their new engine to Detective Curt Holland.

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Fill out the following form and I will contact you to schedule our appointment. If you prefer, you can call or text me at 303-564-4055. I look forward to meeting with you!

Thanks – Nathan Hart