In May of 2022, Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) detectives with the Armed Violent Offender Unit (AVOU) initiated an investigation into the distribution of Fentanyl from Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquors, located at 4331 N. Academy Boulevard. As part of the investigation, detectives made several undercover purchases of fentanyl pills from armed suspects within the business.
On July 11, 2022, detectives with the AVOU and patrol officers from the Stetson Hills Division, executed a search warrant at Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquors. They also placed two suspects into custody, 40-year-old male Brian Yi and his 44-year-old brother Steve Yi. Arrest Warrants were issued for both suspects for the charges of:
- 18-18-407, Special Offender, Level One Drug Felony
- 18-18-405, Unlawful Distribution, Level Two Drug Felony
- 18-2-201, Conspiracy, Class Six Felony
During the execution of the warrant, approximately $36,100 in U.S. currency was located, as well as 2000 fentanyl pills, 2.36 pounds of cocaine, 1.55 pounds of THC gummies, 2.14 pounds of marijuana, 14.6 grams of Zanex pills, and 11.3 grams of oxycodone pills. Also recovered were 3 handguns and 1 assault rifle.
Chief Adrian Vasquez stated “This is just another example of how the recent fentanyl legislation fails to understand how and why suspects are distributing fentanyl in our community. Individuals selling this drug are doing so out of greed and a lack of care for our community members. This is exemplified in this case where you could buy legal alcohol and illegal drugs at the same counter at the same time. 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.”