GRAMNET names new head |

GRAMNET names new head

Garrett Wiggins to succeed Dusty Schulze

Joshua Roberts

Officers from the Greater Routt and Moffat Narcotic Enforcement Team agree – fighting the area’s methamphetamine problem can be a thankless job.

With four officers on staff and new drug dealers popping up to replace arrested ones throughout the Yampa Valley, the task is daunting, the hours long and the recognition limited.

That hasn’t dissuaded Garrett Wiggins.

Wiggins, a law enforcement veteran, has been earmarked to lead GRAMNET, the task force announced Monday. He replaces current task force commander Dusty Schulze, who has been promoted to sergeant of the Craig Police Department, on Jan. 1.

“We’re going to continue to target major crime and reduction of major crime,” said Wiggins, an officer with the Steamboat Springs Police Department for five years and a deputy with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office for three. “We’re going to take advantage of any new technology that becomes available to us, and any new (funding).”

The GRAMNET board finalized Wiggins’ ascension Sunday.

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Wiggins, a Republican, lost a race to Democrat Gary Wall in November for Routt County Sheriff.

GRAMNET, composed of law enforcement officials and prosecutors from Moffat, Routt and Jackson counties, is pledged to apprehending mid- to high- level drug trafficking operations. Since August 2004, Schulze has been at the forefront of leading the unit.

Schulze was selected to become a sergeant from a field of four candidates, who took the sergeant’s exam. He replaces Sgt. Larry Mullen, who retired Sept. 30. Schulze said GRAMNET has made big strides and secured a near perfect conviction rate of the suspects arrested. Despite the at-times grueling schedule, he said the job can “get in your blood,” and that he has mixed feelings about handing over the reins.

“I believe in the mission and the work so it’s really hard for me to leave,” Schulze said. But, he added, “I’m leaving it in very capable hands.”

Wiggins has been a GRAMNET officer for the previous eight to nine months. His resume also includes a stint working for the police department in Quincy, Fla.

Wiggins inherits an active task force: one that has made 21 arrests in recent months, yet is continually facing funding shortfalls due to grant cutbacks.