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Original Story Released 3/9/2014.
Most links below have been disabled. All documents listed below are public, they can be obtained through the proper channels.
On Thursday, December 19th 2013, a four month drug sting culminated in the arrest of 29 people, and the arrest warrants of 11 others in Trinidad, CO, and Raton, NM. What seems like a successful drug sting is starting to unravel and the details that are emerging paint a picture of a confidential informant (Crystal Bachicha) with an agenda, and an incompetent police force at best.
Two cases have been dismissed due to the fact that the alleged perpetrators were incarcerated at the time of the alleged crimes. Several more alleged defendants have professed their innocence. What does this say about the investigation? Did the police corroborate any of the evidence provided by C.I. Bachicha? Were the police complicit in framing these individuals?
On January 13, 2014, District Attorney Ruybalid disclosed the identity of confidential informant #130803 as convicted felon Crystal Bachicha.
Read the following excerpt from the “Motion to Compel Prosecution Of Crystal Bachicha” (Case No. 13-CR-288).
“The obviously dishonest reports to law enforcement against Ms. ***** and Mr. ****** appear to be part of a highly disturbing trend whereby Ms. Bachicha used her role as an informant to target people against whom she held some sort of personal grudge. For example, two other people against whom Ms. Bachicha leveled accusations regarding drug transactions were ****** ** ***** and ********* *********. In 2008, Ms. Bachicha was charged with attempting to kill these women, and both ****** ** ***** and ********* ********* provided evidence and testimony against Ms. Bachicha. In this drug sting, Ms. Bachicha also accused ****** ******** of selling drugs; not surprisingly, Ms. ******** was Ms. Bachicha’s probation officer in the case for which Ms. Bachicha was on probation until mid-2012.”
Read the full “Motion To Compel Prosecution Of Crystal Bachicha.”
What did C.I. Crystal Bachicha receive for turning state’s evidence? Where did the drugs come from in the two cases that were dismissed? Who’s voices are heard on the audio recordings of the so called transactions?
We have obtained the arrest affidavits of the two cases that were dismissed so far. These two individuals were implicated solely on information provided by Crystal Bachicha. At this time we are unsure how many of the 40 people charged, were implicated by this particular C.I. We have reports that it could be as high as 20 out of the 40 charged.
Read the arrest affidavits (Case # 13-TF-12) (Case # 13-TF-37). Click Here to read all of the documentation that we have obtained.
We have obtained the arrest affidavits of two other alleged defendants. They are almost identical to the arrest affidavits of the 2 cases that were dismissed. We will release them at the appropriate time. We encourage any defendants involved in this case to contact us with any relevant information.
District Attorney Ruybalid Facing 29 Misconduct Claims – Trial set for April 14, 2014
View a list of all of the parties involved in this injustice.
On February 20th, there was a “motion to dismiss” hearing for one of the alleged defendants. The public defender moved to dismiss based on the fact that the alleged perpetrator was in the Las Animas County Jail at the time of the crime. District Attorney Frank Ruybalid, asked Judge Leslie J. Gerbracht for time to meet with the police department to amend, or add additional charges. The judge initially granted the D.A. 48 hours to get back to her. Then several minutes later she reversed herself and told the D.A. that if he wanted to amend the charges, that he would have to decide “right now”. D.A. Ruybalid refused and agreed to dismiss the charges. The judge dismissed the charges with prejudice. Confidential informant Crystal Bachicha did not show.
Judge Gerbracht initially signed the arrest affidavits involving these wrongfully implicated individuals. What safeguards were in place when she signed the affidavits? The detectives did not include any information regarding the C.I.’s criminal history or reliability, a standard practice while employing confidential informants. Did Judge Gerbracht rubber-stamp these arrest affidavits as is, without questioning the detectives, or did she ask the relevant questions? If she did ask the relevant questions, were the detectives deceptive in obtaining her approval?
Media – Watchdog Or Lapdog?
Several news media outlets reported the original story. They named the individuals implicated and some have displayed photos of the alleged defendants. These organizations have a responsibility to investigate and report the truth. There has been no correction or follow-up to these articles. We will list some of the larger organizations with the original articles below. We encourage you to contact them and question their reporting practices?
“Media responsibility is a term for the belief that mass media have a basic responsibility to help strengthen and support democratic processes. Although this is a subjective concept, and hard to define, arguments have been made for newspapers, television, radio, and perhaps types of Internet communication to act as a government watchdog, as a gatekeeper and instrument to disseminate necessary information, and more popularly, as a reflection of cultural interests and trends.”
– Source: Wikipedia
The Trinidad Chronicle – Website (719) 846-3311
Original Story By Steve Block – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Leonard – Editor email@example.com
Allyson Sheumaker – Business Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
The Trinidad Chronicle has failed to report the truth. They are well aware of the latest developments but refuse to do a follow-up on the original story.
Drug Dragnet Nets 29 Arrests – The Pueblo Chieftain (719) 544-3520
By Anthony A. Mestas – News Reporter (719) 404-2764 email@example.com
Robert Rawlings – Publisher and Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Henson – Managing Editor (719) 404-2750 email@example.com
29 People Arrested In Trinidad Drug Sweep – KOAA (719) 632-5030
By David Randall
News Contact Form
29 People Arrested In Two-State Drug Bust – KRDO Newsroom Phone: (719) 575-6285
By Chris Loveless – Digital Content Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Click Here To Visit Our Contact Page For The Justice Dept., FBI, CBI…
The Trinidad 40 – Parties Involved
The Trinidad 40 – Documentation
The Trinidad 40 – Contact Info (Justice Dept., FBI, CBI…)