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| Crime |

Zona Moore: Zona's Tamales owner pleads guilty to misdemeanor count in stolen goods beef

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In July, we told you about the arrest of 84-year old Zona's Tamales owner Zona Moore, along with son Saalim Muhammed, and a third person, Renee McKinnon, on charges of trafficking in cigarettes and other stolen goods.

Now, Moore has reportedly pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of theft by receiving -- a charge whose penalty ranges from probation to a year in jail.

Zona's Tamales, at 713 E. 26th Avenue, is a two-time Best of Denver award winner. The 2002 nod for Best Pig's Ears lauded a "novel sandwich" in which the ears are "cooked until tender (except for that crunchy cartilage) and slathered with mustard and onions."

But the delectability of this delight didn't prevent Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey from alleging that Moore, Muhammed and McKinnon "took part in the buying and selling of stolen property, primarily cigarettes but also including TVs and other items," according to a release at the time of their arrests.

The day news of the arrests went public, Zona's Tamales featured a sign reading, "No cigarett."

The community subsequently rallied on Moore's behalf -- and her lack of a criminal history should help her during the sentencing phase. As for Muhammed and McKinnon, 9News reports that they're due in court on October 4.

Look below to see full-size photos of Moore, Muhammed and McKinnon, as well as the DA's office release about the original charges.

Original DA's office release:

MOTHER, SON CHARGED IN STOLEN GOODS CASE

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has formally charged the owner of Zona's Tamales and two others, including her son, in connection with an investigation into the buying and selling of stolen goods at the restaurant at 713 East 26th Avenue.

Zona Moore (DOB: 10-10-25), Saalim Muhammed (aka Charles "Buck" Fields) (DOB: 08-13-41) and Renee McKinnon (08-25-60) are each charged with one count of theft by receiving (F4).

In June 2010, the Denver Police Department received complaints about illegal activity at Zona's Tamales and began an investigation which resulted in the arrests of the defendants. The charges allege that Moore, Muhammed and McKinnon took part in the buying and selling of stolen property, primarily cigarettes but also including TVs and other items. Allegations of additional criminal activity by other individuals may result in additional charges.

Moore and Muhammed have each been released from custody on a $3,000 bond. They are scheduled to appear in Denver County Court room 2100 on August 6, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. to be advised of the charges.

McKinnon has been released from custody on a $5,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in Denver County Court room 2100 on August 9, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. to be advised of the charge against her.

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