Articles Posted in Drug Charges

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a group of policymakers from around the country, recently announced that it plans to make reducing the rates of drugged driving in Colorado and other states a priority in the coming year. The GHSA called drugged driving a “highway safety issue,” and urges state and federal governments to make cracking down on “drugged drivers” a priority.

Like drunk driving, drugged driving occurs when a person is too impaired by the effects of a prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal drug, or any combination of these drugs or drugs and alcohol, to operate a vehicle safely. All fifty U.S. states currently have laws against drugged driving, but since the effects of drugs can be different on different people and depending on what is in the substance, correctly identifying drugged drivers can be extremely difficult.
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The Sheriff’s Crime Reduction Unit, a seven-member squad focusing on Colorado Springs drug crimes, has been temporarily disbanded after a shooting in Colorado Springs left one woman dead, according to a recent news report from KRDO.

Each of the seven unit members were reassigned to other law enforcement groups within the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and are expected to continue serving as sheriff’s deputies, according to the sheriff’s office. The reassignment follows an incident in which members of the unit were serving a warrant on another, unrelated person, when a woman suspected of escape and driving a stolen vehicle drove over one deputy’s foot as she was trying to leave the area. Another deputy fired a shot into the vehicle, which was later found to have resulted in the driver’s death.
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On Tuesday, January 25, a judge ruled that there was barely enough evidence to try a Colorado Springs man to stand trial on charges of drug possession and conspiracy, reports The Colorado Springs Gazette. The man’s former $1 million home purportedly tested positive for methamphetamine.

The judge said the evidence was “pretty close to the line” of what was required, but stated it was up to the jury to decide the man’s case. After a preliminary hearing, the man pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to investigators, on November 12, 2010, Colorado Springs police arrested the man and his son after a report by an independent industrial hygienist detected meth in the man’s former home in northwest Colorado Springs. Currently, the house is involved in a lawsuit that was filed in September of 2010 by a couple who purchased the house but allegedly could not move in because of drug contamination.
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Since Colorado legalized medical marijuana, the state’s mountain towns have each sought to regulate dispensaries in their own ways, according to a recent article in The Colorado Springs Gazette. The variety of ordinances has created a patchwork of medical marijuana rules across the state, affecting how marijuana-related activity may be considered a crime.

For instance, the town of Steamboat Springs allows only three medical marijuana centers to operate in the city, and they must follow city regulations. Recent acts by the state legislature may force Steamboat Springs to amend its ordinance, allowing more than three medical marijuana centers. The town of Hayden, however, has banned them entirely, fearing they would cause an increase in crime. Vail also banned medical marijuana centers after deciding they created the wrong image for the city.
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This past Columbus Day, 22 Colorado prosecutors spent their day off at a training session with the Colorado Police Academy, according to The Colorado Springs Gazette. The training is part of the requirements all Colorado deputy district attorneys must complete in order to handle complex criminal cases.

The day’s events included practice in deciding when to shoot or not to shoot in a tight situation. The prosecutors used a computer simulation that Colorado police officers also use. The training is designed to help police officers remain calm and make the best possible decision in a dangerous situation where split-second timing matters. The training is designed for prosecutors to better understand cases in which a police officer’s decision to shoot or not to shoot becomes a serious issue in a criminal case. The 22 deputy district attorneys who took the training agreed that it helped them better understand the pressure police officers face while on the job.
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A Green Mountain Falls man plead guilty recently to growing 374 marijuana plants at his motorcycle repair shop, according to a recent article in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Police began investigating the man’s repair shop after a neighbor reported seeing several electricians visit the shop on various occasions, as well as an odor of unburnt marijuana coming from the building. While investigating, police also discovered the building’s owner had told his neighbor that he wouldn’t be “busted” for growing fewer than 100 plants. The building’s owner had also offered to install air filters in his building, which cut down on the marijuana scent.

Police then obtained the building’s electricity-use records and discovered that the building used five times the amount of electricity used by similar repair shops in the area. Electricity-use records for the man’s home showed that his home used four times the amount of electricity used by other neighborhood homes.
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Federal drug charges were recently filed against a man who, according to a Denver Post report, is an authorized medical marijuana grower and smoker under Colorado law. The man’s marijuana operation was mentioned on a Denver television news broadcast in February. On the show, he apparently boasted of making $400,000 from his basement medical marijuana operation. The following day, the Drug Enforcement Administration visited his home. The DEA seized more than 200 plants and charged him with cultivating marijuana, which carries a 5 to 40 year prison sentence and a $2 million fine.

This is the first case of its kind since 2000, when voters approved the use of medical marijuana in Colorado. The man in this particular case was a legal grower of medical marijuana under state law, but federal prosecutors argue that marijuana is illegal under federal law regardless of what state law allows.
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On March 15, 2010, police arrested two men on drug and weapons related charges in Colorado Springs. According to an article from the Colorado Connection, the first arrest occurred at the Conoco Gas Station on North Nevada Avenue after the suspect allegedly sold marijuana to an undercover detective. The 21-year-old was arrested shortly thereafter and was found to be carrying a loaded, semi-automatic handgun. This gave police probable cause to search the man’s home where another suspect was discovered.

Police confronted the second suspect, who was later taken into custody on an active warrant for the charge of attempted first-degree murder. At the time of arrest, the second suspect also possessed a loaded handgun and had resisted arrest, which was later added to his charges. The first man arrested was charged with distribution of marijuana and carrying a concealed weapon.

According to authorities, a third handgun was recovered during the investigation along with eleven pounds of marijuana, 27 grams of psychotropic mushrooms and $600 in cash. Both suspects were booked into the Criminal Justice Center, pending their respective trial dates.
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According to a recent report, last Friday, March 5, 2010, Vail county deputies arrested a 45-year-old man for distribution and possession of cocaine. The man was discovered selling $500 worth of cocaine to undercover officers. He is now being held in the Eagle County Detention Facility on a $50,000 bail.

When police arrived at the detainee’s home in West Vail with a search warrant, they found drug distribution materials in his bedroom. A concerned citizen had informed police about the operation, thereby initiating the investigation. Local police encourage citizen to report tips regarding illegal drug activity via phone or Internet, offering rewards up to $1,000 if an arrest is made.

Drug possession and distribution crimes in Colorado Springs are both serious offenses. Sometimes, drug offenders are offered plea bargain agreements, meaning the acceptance of a guilty plea for lesser sentencing. However, people accused of drug offenses often feel pressured into accepting seemingly good plea bargains that can lead to otherwise avoidable and unfortunate consequences.
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Police reported last Friday that the brother of a notorious Mexican drug lord of the 1980s was jailed for 17 years for taking part in a marijuana smuggling racket. He was sentenced last Thursday by a federal judge in Colorado. Following the 17-year sentence will be two years of supervised release. He was charged with heading a crime syndicate that imported and distributed marijuana in the U.S. from 1983-1994.

The man, alias “Michael Jackson,” admitted to trafficking over 100 tons of marijuana between 1985 and 1988 and sending over 100 million dollars to Mexico. He had been released to U.S. authorities last year after spending several years in a Mexican prison. The brother of the convicted is currently incarcerated in a maximum-security prison in Mexico for the murder of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officer.

Being charged with a drug offense can have serious effects on a person’s livelihood. In the U.S., all persons accused of offenses are innocent until proven guilty. Often times, people who are accused of committing drug crimes are unaware of their rights and options for legal counsel and defense. If you have been accused of a drug crime, contact an experienced Colorado Springs criminal drug defense attorney who can help you build a strong defense.
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