Half of the eight men charged in connection with an operation that used stolen vehicles and large rocks to break into and rob bike shops across the Front Range have now had their cases solved.
Gregory Melina, 19, pleaded guilty on Oct. 18 to burglary and second-degree larceny, and was given a three-year suspended sentence on the burglary count and three years probation on the theft charge, according to online court records.
A deferred judgment means that if Melina can complete the terms of his probation and not take any new cases during the three-year period, he can withdraw the guilty plea and the burglary charge will be dismissed.
Meanwhile, the case against another defendant in the case, Adrian Rocha-Chairez, has been dismissed according to online court records.
Two other defendants in the case have already been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to violating Colorado’s Organized Crime Control Act and other charges.
Four other people charged in the operation still have cases pending. Maurice Leday, Salvador Mena-Barreno Jason Quijada are all slated for future indictments, while Gerald Garcia failed to show up for a hearing and has a warrant for his arrest.
The eight men were indicted by a state grand jury in November and charged with using stolen vehicles and large rocks to break into and rob bike shops across the Front Range, including several in Boulder County.
The indictments stem from an investigation called Operation Vicious Cycle which involved a series of crimes involving 29 bike shop burglaries, 22 car thefts and multiple attempted burglaries and robberies from Fraser to the Denver metro area of December 2019 to June 2020.
According to the statement, the men would plan the burglaries using Facebook Messenger. In groups of up to four, the men would then steal either a box truck or van and ram it into the doors or windows of a bike shop, or they would smash the front windows with large landscaping rocks or other tools.
Police said the men then stole high-end ATVs and transferred the stolen goods to sell outside the country, possibly in Mexico.
The defendants allegedly stole $985,000 in bicycles and $258,000 in vehicles while causing $231,837 in property damage.
Six businesses were robbed in Boulder County, including Boulder Cycle Sport in Boulder, Redstone Cyclery in Lyons and Cenna Custom Cycles in Longmont.