"I Swear, Officer — That's Not My 31 Pounds of Pot!"

No, the marijuana didn't fill a bag quite this big — but it was still pretty hefty.
No, the marijuana didn't fill a bag quite this big — but it was still pretty hefty. U.S. Attorney's Office file photo
This week, Boulder police found approximately 31 pounds of marijuana in an open space area, not far from where three people were camping in violation of local ordinances. But none of them were hit with charges related to the pot, because officers couldn't figure out to whom it belonged.

Shannon Cordingly, a spokesperson for the Boulder Police Department corresponding via e-mail, tells the tale.

On Monday, June 26, Cordingly notes, "we responded at approximately 7 a.m. to Foothills Parkway and Colorado with a ranger from Open Space and Mountain Parks in reference to a man sleeping on open space property."

The man in question was Michael Dutra, 46, who had sacked out near an underpass — and Cordingly points out that he "had a warrant for failure to appear on a prior charge of theft out of Lafayette."

Dutra wasn't the officers' only find. They also gathered up a load of material scattered nearby — after requesting and receiving some garbage bags to help with this task. Among the items they collected, Cordingly reveals, were "quite of bit of miscellaneous bike parts and tools, and over 500 ounces of marijuana."

That translates to 31-plus pounds of cannabis. However, Cordingly acknowledges that after quizzing Dutra and two additional people, "we could not determine whose marijuana it was."

As such, Dutra was taken into custody in regard to the warrant only, while the two others were simply warned about camping in the open space area and sent on their way.

Cordingly doesn't recall another time when Boulder officers stumbled upon such a large cache of marijuana at a local park, but she knows what will happen to this particular haul. In her words, "The marijuana will be destroyed."

That's undoubtedly sad news for the pot's owner — whoever it is.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts