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Gun-Carrying Metro Denver Man Killed by Undercover Narc

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #671)
Consequences of Prohibition
Drug War Issues

Editor's Note: This year, Drug War Chronicle is going to try to track every death directly attributable to drug law enforcement during the year. We can use your help. If you come across a news account of a killing related to drug law enforcement, please send us an email at [email protected].]

A metro Denver man became this year's seventh US drug war fatality when he was shot and killed by a plain clothes Aurora Police narcotics officer last Thursday evening. He was identified as Richard Arreola, 25, of Thornton.

According to police, undercover narcs were conducting surveillance on Arreola, whom they said was the subject of a drug investigation. Arreola arrived at a house on Macon Street, and at some point, approached one of the officers while carrying a "long gun" and a revolver. The officer radioed in that he was being approached by Arreola, then reported "shots fired" and that Arreola had been shot.

"He was pronounced dead on scene," said Aurora Police spokeswoman Cassidee Carlson. "The officer was not injured."

Carlson said Arreola had been under investigation for illegal drug sales for a couple of weeks. She said it was unclear at this point why Arreola had approached the officer or whether he had fired any shots at the officer.

Arreola's brother Ruben Montano told the Denver Post the next day he had no idea why police were investigating him and that Arreola had gone to the Macon Street address where his mother lived to pick up his three-year-old daughter. He said he saw his brother leave the apartment and then heard seven gun shots.

"I went to go find him," Montano said. "Then I saw my brother shot for no reason."

Arreola was the owner of Neviah Wireless in Aurora. His criminal history consisted of a handful of Denver traffic offenses, a misdemeanor pot possession charge, and a gambling offense for which he served 18 days in jail and a year of probation in Gilpin County in 2007.

The police shooter has not been identified. He has been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


kickback (not verified)

The "undercover" cop probably appeared to be a thug up to no good. Maybe that`s why he was approached by a man with a gun. Supposedly.

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 9:47pm Permalink

Approaching the officers with a "long gun" and a revolver? Really? Sounds like something out of Terminator. Like when Ahnold pulls out a shotgun from a box of flowers. Sounds like total sketch to me. All the cops I've met (thankfully very few) in Denver are all really nice. But there are some CRAZY stories of brutality that are becoming more commonplace. Must be the fluoride in our water. 

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 6:23pm Permalink
Dirk (not verified)

Another shooting soon to be white-washed, regardless of circumstances, by a local inquest, followed by the DoJ's white-wash team, in whose eyes LEOs can do no wrong, even when they do.. Bet on it. It's more of a sure thing than any horse race you've ever attended. 

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 6:38pm Permalink
Nedmorlef (not verified)

I believe a lot of people approach these cops and then lower their weapons . At which point the cop shoots them. Look at the news. Cops win hands down almost every gun battle even when surprised. How is that?

I don't care how much training you've had emotions rule. Look at waco. How many incompetent first rate cops were there? They lost the gun battle. Then the davidians dropped their weapons and let the cops walk away . Many people not intent on committing crimes will do this upon realizing they are confronting a police officer. The cops reloaded and brought friends. Killed them all.

I see people like this guy whom has the advantage, training and carry license and he doesn't even get off a shot? This happens over and over. I personally suspect many are being shot after they lower their weapons upon the officer identifying himself. I obviously can't prove that but, how does a man being confronted with a weapon draw from plain clothes and win? Please don't hinder me with scenarios. I understand it's possible but, not 100% of the time as we see in the news.

I through being targeted for confiscation of land by dirty LE have become very learned in the ways of the police. I consider myself at the least educated on their lowly tactics. I have examined their techniques for over 10 years and have found the same methods are used all across the country.

If you are alone never drop your weapon while your opponent does not just because he claims to have a badge. He has a license to murder and will use it just like a criminal trying to get away.

I'm not anti cop. I'm just anti totalitarian authority. Especially one that finds stealing ,killing and destroying as a LE tool.

I own guns but, I own nothing I have to register and I never brandish them. They know I own a pellet rifle and that's all they're gonna know until the moment of self defense.

I genuinely fear the police. I have gotten to know them when their guard is down and the freedom to do as they please to anyone they please is well apparent to them. Even though my evidence is local , the attitudes and techniques are the same all across america.

All I'm saying is if, you live by the gun you will die by the gun unless you intend to use it. Cops have no trouble killing you because they are immune from prosecution. Especially if, there are no witnesses.

Don't draw a gun until you need to. Then don't give up once you do because, he may shoot you anyway. You have a right to defend yourself. It's better to spend a night in jail than be dead. Don't lower your weapon until you are safe. Think people.

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 7:16am Permalink

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