Last month, we told you about the arrest of Anthony Harvey, home-decor expert and alleged drug-ring leader, as part of a law-enforcement operation dubbed Project White Out. Now, another of the accused participants in the scheme, Jimmie Joe Montgomery, has been taken into custody as well -- but only after a ninety minute standoff with cops.
As we've reported, Harvey ran a Fort Collins business called Decorative Concrete Finishes and starred in a series of YouTube videos in which he and his crew showed off their landscaping and home-improvement acumen. But according to a 95-count, 84-page long indictment, he also used the operation as the headquarters for an enterprise that peddled an estimated $1 million worth of cocaine per month to locations as far afield as Montana -- ten to twenty kilos worth every four weeks.
Over the course of the investigation, agents collected five pounds of cocaine, one pound of methamphetamine, 26 pounds of marijuana, fifteen firearms and more than $90,000 in cash. In the end, a total of 33 people were named in the indictment, with 22 of them having been put behind bars by the time of our original post's November 10 publication.
But not Montgomery, whose name is one of the most frequently cited in the indictment. That changed this week, however, due to his connection to a certain U-Haul trailer.
According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Deputy Derek Signorelli was tracking Montgomery and two women wanted on felony warrants for other matters -- Jessica Cunningham, 24, and Meradeth Antolich, 39 -- when he received a tip that one of them had rented a U-Haul. He recalled seeing such a trailer at a Fort Collins AmercInn, and when he checked it out, the license plates matched the one in question.
At that point, members of the Larimer County Sheriff's Office set up a perimeter around the hotel, got the number of the suspects' room and then simply placed a phone call to it.
The line was picked up by one Peter Antolich, who confirmed the identities of those inside before trying to get the hell out of Dodge; he was grabbed attempting to sneak out the room's window. As for the women, one of them surrendered to deputies, while the other was seized nearby. But Montgomery didn't much feel like splitting; a standoff dragged on for an hour and a half. Finally, following conversations conducted over the phone and by shouting through the door, LCSO reps finally convinced Montgomery to give himself up. No kicked-in doors or tear gas was required.
It's understandable why Montgomery might want to avoid facing the music, especially given that the tune includes seven charges related to racketeering, conspiracy and, of course, drugs. Cunningham, for her part, will face twelve counts ranging from motor vehicle- and identity theft to forgery and "vehicular eluding." And the Antolichs? Meradeth had two warrants for failing to comply on theft charges in her name, while Peter received a summons of his own as an alleged accessory to a crime.
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That offense was too minor to earn Peter a mug shot, but photos of the other three are on view below, followed by the Operation White Out indictment.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Britt Cox convicted of killing meth buddy Bonni Bergen, burning down her house."