Plea agreement pending in drug case |

Plea agreement pending in drug case

Case of man facing felony charges related to marijuana bust continued Wednesday

— The case of a Routt County man facing felony drug charges in connection with a Hilton Gulch marijuana operation was continued Wednesday in Routt County Court.

The defendant was arrested in September after Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies discovered a marijuana grow and distribution operation in a home south of Steamboat Springs. He has not yet entered a plea.

A plea agreement is still being worked out with the District Attorney’s Office, defense attorney Kris Hammond, said Wednesday.

The defendant faces Class 4 felony charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture and distribute, and a Class 5 felony charge of possession of eight or more ounces of marijuana.

The complaint filed Oct. 2 by the District Attorney’s Office notes that the defendant allegedly committed the felonies while in possession of, or proximity to, a deadly weapon, allowing him to be charged as a special offender. Special offender status could be considered an aggravating factor in any eventual sentencing.

Class 4 felonies typically carry a maximum sentence of six years imprisonment. Class 5 felonies usually carry a maximum of three years.

The defendant is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty offense.

The marijuana operation in question was discovered in the 21800 block of Routt County Road 41A, in the Hilton Gulch area south of Steamboat Springs, after a Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputy received a tip from the property owner Sept. 12. In addition to a grow operation in three rooms above a two-car garage on the property, a search also turned up bags of marijuana ready for sale and a loaded .22 caliber rifle.

Investigators found plants as tall as 3 feet growing at the facility, in addition to immature plants, drying strands of marijuana, and dozens of discarded plants that had already been harvested.

The defendant was arrested Sept. 13, on suspicion of possession of marijuana, sale of an illegally substance and possession of a deadly weapon. He was released from Routt County Jail the next day on $20,000 bond.

– To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203 or e-mail

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove the defendant’s name after he completed his sentence and requested a story update. For more, go to

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