Violent Pot Heist Update: Two Suspects Sentenced, One Still at Large

Update: In August 2015, we reported about the arrest of three men from Nebraska who allegedly drove to Colorado and brutally attacked a marijuana grower in Westminster; see our previous coverage below.

Now, two of those men — David Tatum and Spencer Siroky — have been sentenced to 20 and 27 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in the crime.

Meanwhile, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the third suspect, Fredy Pedraza Castillo, who's currently at large.

According to the First Judicial District DA's office, Siroky first visited the home of the Westminster grower during a previous trip to Colorado, in the company of a friend. At that time, he asked if he could buy some marijuana, but he was turned down by the residents, who worked in the retail marijuana industry, with one also serving as a medical marijuana provider for the other.

Cut to the wee hours of July 19, 2015, when Westminster police were called to the home, located on 100th Court. There, they learned that the homeowners had been robbed at gunpoint, tied up and pistol-whipped.

Later that day, the account from the DA's office continues, a vacationing Boulder County Drug Task Force detective saw the suspects' vehicle at a Nebraska rest stop, near the Colorado state line — and after smelling marijuana, he took a photo of the ride's license plate and forwarded the information to authorities in Nebraska. Half an hour later, a Nebraska state trooper pulled over the car and found it contained ten pounds of live marijuana plants, two and a half pounds of dried marijuana, thirty grams of THC concentrate and six guns.

The men were extradited to Colorado, where Sironky pleaded guilty to kidnapping, aggravated robbery and two counts of burglary; Tatum did likewise in relation to a pair of aggravated-robbery charges the following month.

And Castillo? First Judicial District DA's spokeswoman Pam Russell reveals that he paid his bond, then disappeared — and his whereabouts are currently unknown.

Continue to see the most recent booking photos for the three men, followed by our previous coverage.

Original post, 4:20 p.m. August 3, 2015: When Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against Colorado late last year, the two states decried additional law enforcement costs they'd accrued due to the passage of Amendment 64, the 2012 measure that legalized limited recreational marijuana sales here.

Now, however, Colorado taxpayers are ponying up to prosecute three young Nebraskans over cannabis-related matters.

The trio allegedly crossed the state line and committed a violent pot robbery prior to being nabbed upon their return home.

The individuals in question include 23-year-old Fredy Padraza Castillo, seen in the following Facebook photo.... well as eighteen-year-old David Tatum, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student featured in a Facebook pic of his own....

...and Spencer Siroky, 23.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the trio, with Castillo behind the wheel, were pulled over by a state trooper near Ogallala, Nebraska, just east of the Colorado state line, on July 19.

Their offense fits the minor-violation description that Coloradans who claim to have been pot-profiled often mention — in this case, a partially obscured license plate and a lane change without the use of a turn signal.

Upon stopping the vehicle, the trooper is said to have smelled marijuana — and Castillo said that he'd smoked some in the car while still in Colorado.

This assertion constituted probable cause from the Nebraska trooper's perspective, and a search of the vehicle turned up pot in a backpack and a loaded gun under the front passenger seat.

At that point, Castillo and company were arrested and the car impounded — and a more thorough search revealed a much bigger haul.

The inventory included ten pounds of marijuana plants, thirty grams of hash, two-and-a-half pounds of marijuana buds, some amphetamine pills, seventy canisters containing cannabis seeds and some edibles, plus six rifles and three handguns, the Journal Star reports.

Things got worse for the trio from there: One of the handguns was traced to a home invasion robbery in Westminster earlier that same day.

The victims had been pistol-whipped and tied up during the incident — and the additional discovery of rope, plus masks, gloves, wigs, an Airsoft gun with a silencer and $5,000 in cash ($500 of it apparently bogus) didn't exactly argue against their participation.

Now, the men are facing charges in both Nebraska and Colorado. The twelve in Nebraska mainly pertain to drugs and the possession of burglary tools, while the seventeen out of Jefferson County in Colorado focus on the robbery — two counts of first-degree kidnapping, eight robbery beefs and more.

Look below to see booking photos for Castillo, Siroky and Tatum.

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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