Eric Holmes's alleged $1 million scheme: A car theft-heroin-meth ring

Legal documents like the one on view below typically refer to an illegal scheme as an "enterprise." And there's no denying that Eric Holmes, the alleged ringleader of an actual crime ring, appears to have been plenty enterprising. A grand jury has indicted Holmes and three cohorts -- Cathrina Woodvine, Nathaniel Menning and James Deichsel -- of involvement in an operation that involved car theft committed via fraud rather than break-ins, plus some heroin and meth dealing for good measure. Alleged haul: almost $1 million. Photos, video and details below.

According to the Denver District Attorney's Office, the hefty, 66-count indictment was the fruit of much labor over a five month period by the Denver Police Department, the East Metro Auto Theft Task Force and the Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force. The list of crimes begins with a violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, with a whole slew of other accusations -- not just vehicle boosting, but also forgery, controlled-substances conspiracy and, for good measure, violation of the Pawnbroker's Act.

The basics of the alleged plot? Holmes is said to have opened bank accounts with as little money as possible, then written checks for vehicles, rent and plenty more despite the absence of sufficient cash to cover the costs.

That may sound like simple check-kiting, but prosecutors say the quartet executed this tactic on a massive scale, either stealing or trying to swipe thirty vehicles valued at nearly seven figures. False info also allegedly resulted in payouts from the Department of Human Services and insurance companies.

And then there were the drugs, which take center stage during the portion of the document pertaining to counts 31 and 32, aimed at Woodvine. This past December, the indictment maintains that authorities tracked one of four Volvos stolen from a local dealership to a residence on the 16200 block of East 99th Avenue in Commerce City, where Woodvine and Holmes were living at the time.

A search warrant gave them permission to search the pair's pad, and they discovered some interesting items in Holmes's bedroom, including meth in a dime bag. As for Woodvine's room, it reportedly yielded individually bagged packages of heroin and a purse containing more than $2,200 in cash.

No wonder that the heaviest beefs take aim at Holmes and Woodvine, with Deichsel and Menning named in just a handful of counts pertaining to forgery and theft. But all four are slated to reunite at Denver County Court on September 16, when they'll be arraigned.

Look below to see a report from 7News, followed by the complete indictment and mug shots of the foursome.

Indictment: Eric Holmes, et. al.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa June 2010: "Drug ring in Boulder County: 17 indicted for meth, cocaine, to Stan Garnett's delight."

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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