Eagle County surveyor arrested for alleged illegal marijuana grow
December 8, 2016
EAGLE — Eagle County Sheriff's Office took brothers Theodore and Thomas Archibeque into custody on allegations of an illegal marijuana grow in the Sweetwater area of western Eagle County, police said in a press release issued Thursday.
Ted Archibeque is the elected Eagle County surveyor.
On Nov. 1, law enforcement officers, including DEA agents, served a federal search warrant on the property owned by Theodore Archibeque. Police say they found 28 growing plants and 65 pounds of processed marijuana during the search. Law enforcement officers also observed what appeared to be recent construction of multiple greenhouses and an airfield, the Sheriff's Office said.
Reached Thursday, Ted Archibeque vigorously denied the allegations.
"When the truth comes out, I will be cleared of any wrongdoing," Ted Archibeque said.
While marijuana grows are permitted under state law, the arrests are premised upon the fact that the operations were in violation of Eagle County and Colorado Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division regulations, police said.
Eagle County restricts the number of marijuana plants allowed per household and all commercial marijuana grows require a use permit. Presently, there are three licensed industrial outdoor grow operations in Eagle County, and the targeted property is not one of them.
"Colorado has established a robust system for the cultivation of marijuana," said District Attorney Bruce Brown. "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. Illegal operations disrupt a level playing field, which cannot be where one is subject to regulation and tax, and another where no rules apply. In this situation, the alleged involvement of a publicly elected official reflects poorly on the integrity of an elected office."
Both Archibeques, have been charged with knowingly allowing the cultivation/manufacturing of marijuana, a Class 1 drug felony. If convicted there is a mandatory prison sentence of eight years.