Rocky Pedersen, who has been charged with 35 criminal counts, including attempted first-degree murder, for a series of robberies at marijuana businesses over the past five months, once owned a medical marijuana dispensary that was itself the target of a high-profile robbery back in 2013.
In May 2011, Westword reported about Longmont's move toward a dispensary ban. Quoted in the post is "Rocky Pederson, co-owner of New Age Wellness." Pedersen said he'd held a sales-tax license in the community since September 2009 and was worried about a possible ban's impact on MMJ patients.
"It would be completely burdensome," he argued. "For some patients, it could lead to seriously harmful health issues. They would have to go to Boulder. A lot of our patients can walk in to us. All that would be eliminated, and they would have to go off and find a random person growing twelve plants in their basement."
Several months later, in July 2011, Pedersen appeared in a Longmont Times-Call article about a petition for a ballot measure allowing residents to vote on a dispensary ban.
New Age Wellness next turned up in a Westword report circa November 2013, when we covered an armed robbery at the business, a converted house, that resulted in a loss estimated at $11,000. The Boulder County Sheriff's Office released surveillance footage from the heist that showed suspects wearing masks over their faces.
Pedersen also allegedly wore face coverings during the recent robbery spree, albeit ones that utilized ski goggles — and he didn't stick exclusively to knocking over marijuana businesses. He's believed to have held up a liquor store, too.
The crimes ended on February 28, after an attempted heist at a Northglenn store called the Grow Depot that had already been the site of a robbery the previous October. A shootout followed, with Pedersen sustaining serious injuries. In his booking photo, he's wearing a hospital gown.
Earlier this month, 9News reported that Pedersen had confessed to the crimes. He'd also told authorities that he purchased an AR-15 used in some of the robberies at a pawn shop in Longmont. In addition, his arrest affidavit includes references to Pedersen having owned a marijuana business in the community.
Earlier this week, 17th Judicial District DA Dave Young announced that Pedersen had been formally charged in relation to the following incidents:
• October 26, 2016 aggravated robbery at Grow Depot, 970 W. 104th Ave., Northglenn
• November 6, 2016 aggravated robbery at Way to Grow hydroponic supply store at 301E. 57TH Ave., Adams County
• December 10, 2016 aggravated robbery at Grow hydroponic supply store, 6395 Gunpark Drive, Boulder
• January 11, 2017 aggravated robbery at Won’s Liquor store, 2021 E. 160th Ave., Adams County
• January 26, 2017 attempted aggravated robbery at Way to Grow hydroponic supply store, 301 E. 57th Ave., Adams County
• February 6, 2017 aggravated robbery at Grofax 5 Hydroponic Supply Center, 8868 Federal Blvd., Federal Heights
• February 28, 2017 shots fired at Grow Depot 970 W. 104TH Ave., Northglenn
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Among the charges against Pedersen are four counts of attempted first-degree murder, eight counts of aggravated robbery, three counts of attempted aggravated robbery, nine counts of menacing and one count of theft. There are also ten crime-of-violence accusations that serve as sentencing enhancers.
Right now, Pedersen is being held on a $500,000 bond. He's next due in court for a preliminary hearing on April 6.