COLORADO SPRINGS — Arrest affidavits from two brothers arrested in a fentanyl and firearms case reveal the family kept thousands of fentanyl pills on hand in their family liquor store and regularly sold them in aisles in view of customers.
Brian Yi, 40, and his brother Steve Yi, 44, were arrested on Monday. The two men’s arrest affidavits reveal the scale of their operation and how many of their family members knew about their activity or were complicit in the sale of thousands of fentanyl pills and other drugs.
On July 11, detectives from the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) Armed Violent Offender Unit (AVOU) and patrol officers executed a search warrant at Austin Bluffs Plaza Liquors. About $36,100 was found, along with 2,000 fentanyl pills, 2.36 pounds of cocaine, 1.55 pounds of THC gum, 2.14 pounds of marijuana, 14.6 grams of Xanax pills and 11, 3 grams of oxycodone tablets.
Law enforcement also recovered three handguns and an assault rifle.
According to arrest affidavits, the investigation began in May when a confidential informant told a CSPD detective that employees of the liquor store near N. Academy Boulevard and Montebello Drive were selling illegal narcotics and were armed with handguns.
Thanks to an undercover operation in late May, law enforcement was able to obtain 100 pills from Steve Yi. The transaction took place in the center aisle of the liquor store, in full view of Chang Yi, the store owner and father of Steve and Brian Yi, as well as any potential customers of the store.
Through a series of follow-up operations throughout June and into July, hundreds of pills were sold by Steve and Brian Yi, and the drugs were confirmed to be legitimate through field and lab tests. Arrangements were also made in a deal to buy 1,000 pills from Steve Yi for $5,000.
Steve Yi was also recorded on body-worn audio devices explaining that at any given time he had around 10,000 pills on hand.
Both Steve and Brian Yi were arrested on July 11 and face two drug trafficking charges and one conspiracy charge. Their first court appearance is set for July 21.