Ea­gle County o∞cial and brother ar­rested over il­le­gal pot grow

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul

An elected of­fi­cial in Ea­gle County and his brother have been ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of op­er­at­ing an il­le­gal marijuana grow — com­plete with sev­eral green­houses and an air­field — au­thor­i­ties an­nounced Thurs­day.

Theodore “Ted” Archibeque and Thomas Archibeque are sus­pected of know­ingly al­low­ing the cul­ti­va­tion/man­u­fac­tur­ing of marijuana, a Class 1 drug felony, which car­ries a manda­tory eight-year prison sen­tence, in­ves­ti­ga­tors say.

Ted Archibeque is the elected Ea­gle County sur­veyor, ac­cord­ing to the county sher­iff’s of­fice.

The Archibeque broth­ers were taken into cus­tody early Thurs­day but were in the process of be­ing re­leased on per­sonal re­cog­ni­zance bonds by the af­ter­noon.

Of­fi­cials say that on Nov. 1, lo­cal law en­force­ment teamed up with the Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion to serve a fed­eral war­rant on prop­erty owned by Ted Archibeque.

“They found 28 grow­ing plants and 65 pounds of pro­cessed marijuana dur­ing the search,” the Ea­gle County Sher­iff’s Of­fice said in a news re­lease. “Law en­force­ment of­fi­cers also ob­served what ap­peared to be re­cent con­struc­tion of mul­ti­ple green­houses and an air­field.”

Au­thor­i­ties said the grow site, in the county’s Sweet­wa­ter area, broke Ea­gle County and Colorado De­part­ment of Rev­enue reg­u­la­tions.

“Ea­gle County re­stricts the num­ber of marijuana plants al­lowed per house­hold and all com­mer­cial marijuana grows re­quire a use per­mit,” the re­lease said. “Presently, there are three li­censed in­dus­trial out­door grow op­er­a­tions in Ea­gle County, and the tar­geted prop­erty is not one of them.”

Ted Archibeque was elected to the post of county sur­veyor in Novem­ber 2014 and was sworn in on Jan. 13, 2015.

“As an elected po­si­tion, there is no pro­vi­sion for plac­ing the sur­veyor on ad­min­is­tra­tive sus­pen­sion,” said Kris Friel, an Ea­gle County spokes­woman. “Ted is still the county sur­veyor, and ac­cord­ing to our at­tor­ney’s of­fice, state statute in­di­cates he re­mains qual­i­fied for of­fice un­less he loses his right to vote.”

Fifth Ju­di­cial District At­tor­ney Bruce Brown said the al­leged in­volve­ment of Ted Archibeque, as an elected of­fi­cial, “re­flects poorly on the in­tegrity of an elected of­fice.”

“Law en­force­ment has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­force the laws and de­tect il­le­gal grows to sup­port the in­tegrity of law­ful op­er­a­tions, which in­cludes a col­lec­tion of tax rev­enue,” Brown said in a state­ment. “Il­le­gal op­er­a­tions dis­rupt a level play­ing field, which can­not be where one is sub­ject to reg­u­la­tion and tax, and another where no rules ap­ply.”

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