CU-Boulder's usually high finish in the Princeton Review's reefer madness rankings is only one reason why Boulder has a national reputation as a pot mecca. But the powers that be are clearly trying to maintain the line between legal and illegal marijuana sales, as witnessed by the recent arrests of seven people, including Jannene Barrett, seen here, in conjunction with what's described as "an organized drug distribution network" operating downtown -- and apparently purchasing weed from local medical marijuana dispensaries.
The case is described by the Boulder Police Department as an "undercover sting operation," with the bust on Friday involving as many as thirty law enforcers: some in uniform, others in plain clothes, but all targeting alleged dealers in the Central Park area of Boulder near the intersection of 13th Street and Canyon Boulevard.
Customers for the group are said to have been between fourteen and 65, and marijuana wasn't the only product for sale. Also cited are psilocybin mushrooms.
Moreover, the proximity of the location within 1,000 feet of a school triggers a punishment multiplier -- meaning that a sentence related to such offenses may result in additional penalties ranging from eight to 32 more years behind bars.
The initial arrests netted five adults and one juvenile, led by Barrett, seen above, who faces two counts apiece of distributing marijuana to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, among other things. Similar beefs are faced by Jayson Seuferer, seen in the following photo from his Facebook page:
Also taken into custody were Derrick Parrish and David Sanderson, accused of distributing, contributing to delinquency and more, as well as Jeffrey Ferriss and a sixteen-year-old female, each facing one distribution charge.
Meanwhile, Gerald Newman was initially said to be at large -- but he was captured within hours after this photo was shared by the BPD:
However, the cops are still on the lookout at this writing for a seventeen-year-old female suspect plus Bryan Antonie Townsend, represented by the following mug shot....
...and Michael Morton, seen here:
As an aside, the BPD notes that investigators believe the suspects purchased the marijuana they were selling at local medical marijuana dispensaries. Thus far, there's no proof the unidentified centers were part of the conspiracy, but the inquiry is ongoing.
If charges are made against a such a business, expect Boulder authorities to make a lot of noise about it. Already, acting police chief Greg Testa, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett and Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam have weighed in on the operation, indicating their interest in emphasizing that the city isn't going to look the other way when illegal pot sales are taking place just because the community's got a rep for pot friendliness.
If you have information about the whereabouts of Townsend, Morton or their alleged juvenile conspirator, you're encouraged to phone the Boulder police at 303-441-333 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1,800-444-3776. The latter is offering an award of up to $1,000 for information leading to their arrest and conviction.
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More from our Follow That Story archive circa August 2012: "CU-Boulder out of Princeton Review's party school top 20, but number 1 for reefer madness?"