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Prosecutors want Bear Wallow embezzlement cases enjoined

Embezzlement charges against a husband and wife and their two sons who formerly managed the Bear Wallow Ranch near New Castle should be combined into a single trial, says the 9th District Attorney's Office.

However, attorneys for the individual members of the Farris family are prepared to argue otherwise at an Oct. 26 hearing in Glenwood Springs before District Judge Denise Lynch to determine whether to combine the cases or try them separately.

"The people have filed a motion to consolidate the cases for one trial," Assistant District Attorney Ben Sollers said following a court hearing on Thursday when the October date for oral arguments was set.

"We expect that all four of the attorneys (individually representing Zane and Charla Farris and their sons Tyler and Dustin) will object to that course of action," Sollars said.

"A lot of it is just for the convenience factor," he said. "Courts do have the discretion to join cases, and it's usually done for judicial economy."

Defense attorney Kathy Goudy, who represents Zane Farris, indicated after the Thursday scheduling hearing that the request by the DA's Office will be "hotly contested."

The Farris family stands accused of stealing more than $1 million from the Bear Wallow Ranch, which is owned by Waffle House, Inc. chairman Joe Rogers and his wife, Fran Rogers.

The cases of Zane and Charla Farris had been set to go to trial this summer following a preliminary hearing in May, but questions were raised by the prosecution as to whether they should be tried separately or together for their alleged roles.

The Farrises stand accused of miscoding and misspending company checks while they managed the ranch for the past several years. The Rogers have accused the family of stealing and reselling merchandise for their own personal gain, and paying themselves and their family additional, unauthorized salaries.

Fran Rogers told investigators when the allegations arose that they noticed that Charla, the bookkeeper at the time, had asked for more money than she should have needed to take care of routine ranch operations.

Joe Rogers testified at the May hearing, saying he had just deposited $50,000 into the company's account, which he said should have been enough to manage the ranch. When Charla Farris asked for additional money, it prompted him and his wife to review old checks and other expenses that they turned over to investigators.

During the preliminary hearing, Judge Lynch also cited the complexity of the case, which involves thousands of pages of documents, and scheduling difficulties associated with the four separate cases.

The afternoon of Oct. 26 has been set aside to hearing arguments regarding the motion to join the cases. Lynch said Thursday she would take the case under advisement and issue a written order at some time afterward.

Five sentenced in Garfield-Mesa county drug case

A case involving drug trafficking in Garfield and Mesa counties that led to a 2016 drug sting resulted in five people being sentenced to federal prison this week for their respective roles.

Sentencing hearings were held over two days Monday and Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Grand Junction. Four additional defendants still have sentencing hearings pending, U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer and DEA Denver Division Special Agent in Charge William T. McDermott announced in a U.S. Justice Department statement.

Colorado Chief U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger, sitting in Grand Junction for the hearings, ordered the following sentences for those convicted in the case.

• Sean Herrera, 46, to serve 96 months in federal prison, followed by five years on supervised release;

• Sergio Gonzalez-Lomeli, 23, to serve 60 months in federal prison, followed by four years on supervised release;

• Brandon Latgiue, 40, to serve nine months in federal prison, followed by three years on supervised release;

• Ricardo Morales, 36, to serve 78 months in federal prison, followed by five years on supervised release;

• Karinda Sills, 52, to serve 120 months in federal prison, followed by five years on supervised release.

According to court documents, in April 2016, the Glenwood Springs branch of DEA began investigating drug trafficking occurring in Garfield and Mesa counties. The investigation involved surveillance of targets, controlled purchases of methamphetamine and wiretaps of telephones and Facebook accounts.

"The investigation ultimately revealed that Paul Hernandez Contreras was a California source of supply for methamphetamine and cocaine who would bring large quantities of narcotics from California to Colorado," according to the Tuesday statement.

"Daniel Tapia-Morales was a distributor for Hernandez Contreras and Tapia-Morales had his own customer base," the statement said.

In addition to drug trafficking, several individuals in the investigation would trade firearms for narcotics, according to documents in the case.

Ultimately, over 3 kilograms of methamphetamine and half a kilogram of cocaine were seized, as well as firearms and thousands of dollars. The investigation resulted in the indictment of 10 individuals, including the five sentenced this week and Tapia-Morales.

Assisting in the investigation was Garfield County Two River Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT) and agents from Mesa County. TRIDENT is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force funded through federal, state and local government funding sources.

"This case demonstrates the importance of DEA's relationship with state and local task forces, such TRIDENT, in order to dismantle and disrupt drug trafficking organizations responsible for poisoning our communities through the sale of methamphetamine, cocaine and firearms," McDermott said in the statement.

Accused Sno-Cat stealer makes first Eagle County court appearance

EAGLE — Jason Cuervo spends more time on the highway these days than the Sno-Cat he allegedly stole.

Cuervo finally made his first Eagle County Court appearance this week, after missing his first local court appearance for a pretty good reason: he was in the Jefferson County jail.

Four counties — Eagle, Clear Creek, Mesa and Jefferson — all want a piece of Cuervo for various criminal allegations. He's scheduled to be back before Eagle County Court Judge Rachel Fresquez on Oct. 22 for a preliminary hearing, where the judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to send him to trial.

Our Sno-Cat saga so far

Cuervo is accused of stealing John Brandenburg's orange "General Lee" Sno-Cat from the Turntable restaurant's parking lot in Minturn, hitching it to his small Toyota pickup truck and hauling it to Grand Junction, where a SWAT team surrounded the house where witnesses watched him back it into the garage.

He managed to escape that Grand Junction house, but was arrested at Boulder Toyota for allegedly trying to sell illegal drugs in a car dealership, possibly trying to swap pot to cover some of the costs for fixing the transmission that he destroyed hauling the great big Sno-Cat with his little truck.

Officers showed up with six warrants for his arrest, including one warrant from Eagle County where Cuervo is accused of stealing the General Lee the morning of March 11.

In Boulder, he faces charges for distributing a controlled substance, obstructing a peace officer, drug possession, driving a vehicle with a suspended license, unlawful extraction, first-degree auto theft, weapons possession and vehicular eluding.

There goes the Sno-Cat

Back in Eagle County, witnesses may have seen Cuervo steal the Sno-Cat in Minturn, but dozens of people saw him in his small Toyota pickup truck pulling the huge Sno-Cat from Minturn to Grand Junction, where he tried to hide it in a garage near the base of the Colorado National Monument.

Cuervo barricaded himself in the house when a Mesa County SWAT team showed up. When law enforcement entered the house, they found weapons, ammunition, drugs and drug paraphernalia. However, they did not find Cuervo, who had fled to the Front Range.

It was April 9, almost a month after the curious case of the stolen Sno-Cat, that Cuervo turned up in Boulder, where police grabbed him in the car dealership.

The General Lee

Brandenburg is one of the owners of The General Lee, a big, orange Sno-Cat that was on a trailer when Cuervo allegedly stole it.

When it was stolen, Brandenburg called the police, but first posted the General Lee's picture on Facebook. Brandenburg said the tips poured in, and his Facebook post was shared 3,000 times.

People messaged and called to say they saw the huge trailer being towed by a tiny Toyota pickup truck. One of The General Lee's co-owners, a pilot, jumped in his plane to search from the air.

Cuervo allegedly trailered the big, orange Sno-Cat west on Interstate 70 toward Western Colorado's high desert, where a Sno-Cat is most assuredly out of its element.

The General Lee was spotted by a woman in Mesa County who was curious about why such small truck was pulling such a huge trailer, and straining to do it. In fact, she was so curious that she followed it. The woman called the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, which asked the Mesa County Sheriff's Office for a little help.

Mesa County deputies showed up to serve a search warrant, which is about the time Cuervo barricaded himself in the house.

Sure enough, the General Lee was in a garage at the same house as Cuervo. Brandenburg got the General Lee back from the Mesa County Sheriff's impound lot a few days after it was stolen.

Skier accused of trying to jump crowd at Copper pond-skim event pleads guilty

The skier accused of trying to jump the crowd at Copper Mountain’s Annual Slopesoakers pond-skimming event earlier this year pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge earlier this month.

Hayden Patrick Wright, 27, was descending on a run in the early afternoon of April 14 when he flew off the pond-skim course and into the crowd, breaking a woman’s collarbone and injuring several others.

While it remains unclear whether or not Wright tried to jump the crowd on purpose — witnesses after the incident said Wright announced his intentions while holding a drink earlier that morning, though a woman, described as his girlfriend in court documents, said he was joking and launched into the crowd on accident — his behavior was reckless enough to spur charges from the District Attorney’s Office.

Wright pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge, and no contest to a misdemeanor third degree assault charge to which he received a two year deferred judgment and sentence, according to court documents.

In addition to upwards of $1,000 in court fees, Wright’s judgment also includes 120 hours of useful public service, 10 days in jail by the end of the year and prohibitions from alcohol and non-prescribed drugs. His deferred judgment and sentence will end in August 2020, though only the first year will be supervised.

Former city of Aspen official at Red Brick charged with four felonies

The former director of a city of Aspen nonprofit agency allegedly employed a variety of schemes to steal nearly $160,000 of taxpayer money between 2015 and 2017, according to court documents filed this week.

Some of the money allegedly taken by Angie Callen, who served as executive director of the Red Brick Council for the Arts, went into a snowboard company she owned with her husband that a co-worker told investigators was losing money and "a total failure," the documents state.

However, an arrest warrant affidavit filed Monday in Pitkin County District Court also details "extraordinary personal spending on food, hotels, airplane flights, fly-fishing trips and skiing excursions, including an unidentified $18,250 charge in Snowmass Village."

Callen, 37, was charged with four felonies — theft, committing a computer crime, identity theft and embezzlement of public property — in the arrest warrant signed Monday by District Judge James Boyd.

She has not yet been arrested on the charges, and did not return a phone message Tuesday seeking comment.

Callen was fired in June 2017 after the Red Brick's operations manager forwarded information to the president of the nonprofit's board about the alleged theft, the affidavit states. The board president later told an investigator from the District Attorney's Office that she confronted Callen about the allegations the next day.

"Callen immediately admitted to stealing the funds and was 'remorseful and cried,'" the president told investigator Jeff Fain. "Callen told them that she had kept a list of everything that she had stolen and it totaled $114,000.

"She stated that when she had first written a check from the Red Brick accounts to her company Bomber for $10,000 that she intended to pay it back, but that never occurred."

At one point in the investigation, a local lawyer approached Aspen City Attorney Jim True with an offer from Callen: $150,000 in exchange for dropping the criminal case, according to the affidavit. That local lawyer, Lawson Wills, declined to comment Tuesday on that offer or if he still represents Callen.

Callen allegedly embezzled $101,988 from one Red Brick-related bank account and another $57,301 from another, for a total of $159,289, according to the affidavit.

The scheme that allegedly netted Callen the most money involved an online small business loan company called Kabbage, the affidavit states. She applied twice to the company for loans for her company, Bomber Industries, which makes hard boot snowboarding equipment, but was denied both times.

Then she applied to Kabbage as "owner" of the Red Brick Center for the Arts and received four loans from the company in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for a total of $60,000, according to the affidavit. In all four cases, Kabbage deposited the loans into a Red Brick account and the money was transferred by check into Callen's personal accounts.

In three of the four loans, Callen wrote herself checks in the amount of the loan before Kabbage even deposited the money, the affidavit states. In the case of one of the loans, the signature on the back of the check depositing the funds into a Bomber account "likely belongs to her husband James Callen," according to an examination of the couple's bank records noted in the affidavit.

No charges have been filed against James Callen.

The Kabbage loans were paid off on a monthly basis using funds from Red Brick accounts, according to the court documents. An outstanding balance of $19,424 remains on those loans, which were secured using Red Brick financial information.

Payroll advances were another source of Angie Callen's alleged theft, according to the affidavit. For example, she was supposed to make $61,000 in 2015 but collected $71,500, while in 2016 she was due $65,000 in salary from the city but cashed $81,677 in paychecks. She overpaid herself by about $38,800, the affidavit states.

In fact, by the time she was terminated in June 2017, Callen had already paid herself $11,622 for future pay periods between Oct. 15 and Dec. 31, 2017, according to the affidavit.

Finally, Callen opened a Red Brick credit card no one else at the nonprofit knew about. She used Red Brick accounts to make more than $35,000 in payments on that card. Expenses recorded on that card included nearly $25,000 in payments to Bomber Industries, the affidavit states.

The city of Aspen owns the Red Brick Center for the Arts at 100 Hallam St. and serves as landlord to several nonprofit organizations housed there. The Red Brick Council of the Arts had a management contract with the city to run the agency, though the city's Parks and Recreation Department has taken over management of the building since Callen's firing.

Callen and her husband declared bankruptcy in November, noting a $210,000 debt to a Silverthorne businessman who sold two divisions of Bomber to the Callens in 2015 and 2016 was a major factor in the filing.


Aspen Village man killed in alleged hit-and-run on Highway 82 in Basalt

An Aspen Village resident attempting to cross Highway 82 late Friday night was killed by a motorist who was allegedly under the influence and fled the scene, authorities said.

The 54-year-old male victim's identity was not being released pending the notification of his relatives, said trooper Gary Cutler, a spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol, the lead agency in the incident.

Cutler said authorities were notified at 9:04 p.m. about the crash and attempted CPR on the victim, who was struck at the intersection of Highway 82 and Basalt Avenue. The victim died on the scene, he said.

The suspect, Christopher Fish, 49, of Aspen, was arrested near milepost 24, about 1 mile east or upvalley of the crash, Cutler said.

"It was a hit-and-run, and they were able to find the driver," he said.

Cutler said he did not know if Fish was injured. He was driving a Ford pick-up truck at the time, Cutler said.

Fish was booked into the Pitkin County Jail and was released at approximately 10 a.m. after posting $10,000 bond, according to Deputy Jesse Steindler.

Fish was booked on pending felony charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a death, Steindler said. He also faces lesser charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, having an open container of alcohol, having an open marijuana container, and failure to report an accident, the deputy said.

The Sheriff's Office and fire and police personnel from Basalt aided on the scene, Deputy Levi Borst said.

Both sides of Highway 82 were closed until about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.

Story first reported by the The Denver Post.

Trial date set for man accused of murdering his estranged wife in Glenwood Springs

A trial date has been set for Gustavo Olivo-Tellez, the man accused of murdering his estranged wife, Blanca Salas-Jurado, in October of 2016 at an apartment south of Glenwood Springs.

At the request of the defense attorney, the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health assessed Olivo-Tellez after he entered an insanity plea in April, just weeks before he was set to go to trial. He had originally pleaded not guilty in June 2017.

Following the psychiatric evaluation by the state, Olivo-Tellez was deemed “competently and legally sane to stand trial.”

Investigators have said the victim was shot three to five times in her Glenwood-area apartment. The prosecution also has stated that their 3-year-old son was home at the time of the shooting.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Jeff Cheney and Deputy District Attorney Don Nottingham have maintained that the alleged murder was a dual crime committed by Olivo-Tellez and his then-girlfriend Michelle Castillo.

Castillo has since pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for an accessory to murder charge.

At a District Court hearing in Glenwood Springs Thursday afternoon, Olivo-Tellez’s attorney, Garth McCarty, phoned into the Garfield County Courtroom as he has since relocated, but is still handling the defense.

After finding dates that worked for the prosecution, defense and 9th District Judge John Neiley, the trial was set for Feb. 4 through March 1, 2019.

Prosecutors have maintained that, after the Oct. 7, 2016, shooting, Olivo-Tellez ditched the gun and ammunition in the Roaring Fork River and fled with Castillo.

Court documents indicate Castillo drove the child to Grand Junction and dropped him off with a relative, before connecting with Olivo-Tellez. They were both arrested at a hotel in Grand Junction the day after the murder. Police say they were allegedly planning to flee to California.

A pre-trial status conference is to take place Oct. 11, followed by a trial readiness conference on Jan. 22, 2019.

Olivo-Tellez, age 29, remains in the Garfield County Jail on a $2 million bond.

Investigation report released after Brusig case dismissed

A police investigation that led to misdemeanor theft charges against former Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts director Christina Brusig questions thousands of dollars in arts center expenses in the months leading up to her departure in April 2017.

It also questions where a large city grant intended for public art and a business sponsorship for the Summer of Music series, each totaling $10,000, might have ended up.

But the report — released by 9th District Attorney Jeff Cheney upon the formal dismissal of the case Thursday after prosecutors determined Brusig had satisfied all of the terms of her restorative justice agreement — mostly centers on several payments in the range of $200 to $500 from arts center accounts to businesses that Brusig had been doing personal business with, which were "likely fraudulent," according to the affidavit.

Among them is a nearly $465 payment to a Valley View Hospital collection agency in September 2015 made by Brusig for a personal medical bill that police determined came out of arts center funds.

Garfield County Court Judge Paul Metzger dismissed the case at the request of Brusig's attorney, former DA Sherry Caloia, and with the blessing of deputy DA Jill Edinger, who said Brusig had satisfied the terms of the deal reached in April of this year, just before the case was to have gone to trial.

A restorative justice agreement is essentially a contract that gives an accused person the opportunity to perform various tasks such as community service and payment of fines instead of going to trial or entering a plea deal, prosecutors explained at the time.

Among the terms were for Brusig to pay $2,000 in restitution and to complete 50 hours of community service, Edinger said after the Thursday hearing. That included 15 hours that had to be served in Glenwood Springs, even though Brusig has since moved to Wyoming.

According to the DA's Office, the Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) shelter was one of the organizations where she served her hours.

Brusig also taught dance classes in Wyoming to satisfy the agreement, and was required to take financial education classes, Edinger said.

"This is a just result in this case, (though) we still disagree that there was a theft," Caloia said Thursday outside the courtroom, with Brusig at her side.

"She was owed the money (in question); it was just a case of bad accounting," Caloia said. "To resolve this in this way was good for the community, and it allowed the defendant to make amends and move on."

Following the dismissal, Cheney, at the request of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, agreed to release the narrative from a monthslong police investigation that led to the charges being formally filed against Brusig.

Brusig, 32, was charged in November 2017 with Class 1 misdemeanor theft of between $750 and $2,000, for allegedly misappropriating funds while directing the nonprofit Center for the Arts from 2014 until April 2017.

The organization found itself more than $65,000 in debt to creditors after Brusig's departure.

That prompted the city of Glenwood Springs, which had funded Brusig's $50,000-a-year salary and rented space to the Arts Center in the city's historic hydroelectric building on Sixth Street, to launch an audit into the center's finances. A subsequent police investigation also ensued.

Brusig was ultimately slapped with the misdemeanor theft charges, to which she initially pleaded not guilty before eventually accepting the restorative justice agreement.

However, no supporting evidence for the charges was made public by police or the DA's Office at the time they were filed, partly on the argument that officials didn't want to poison the jury pool should the case go to trial.

The investigation into the art center's finances began in April 2017, and an audit report was completed in June of that year and handed over to the DA.

The audit questioned up to $20,000 in spending, but also said Center for the Arts board oversight of that spending was weak.

Afterward, Glenwood Springs City Council decided to discontinue its financial support for the organization and to end the Center for the Arts' lease.

Over the course of about three months from mid-April 2017 to July of that year, the police investigation involved interviews with arts center staff and board members, as well as banking officials where arts center accounts were held.

It also looked for potential ties to a felony check fraud case involving Brusig in Eagle County, in which she pleaded guilty, after rent checks to her landlord failed to clear.

During the investigation, questions arose over a $10,000 grant from the city to support a public art program. However, there was never any indication that art was ever purchased with the money.

It also questions where a $10,000 sponsorship for the Summer of Music from Alpine Bank may have ended up.

And, there's a question about a $2,100 "health care stipend" to Brusig that shows up in the arts center's fourth quarter 2016 tax statements. Because she was on the city's health insurance plan, Brusig would not have been paid a health stipend by the organization, the report notes.

However, the Valley View payment, through a collection agency by the name of Revenue Enterprises, as well as payments to two other businesses Brusig had personal business with, became the main focus of the investigation in the end.

"We did study the case very hard," Cheney said at the time the charges were filed. "I had several prosecutors look at it, (and) had an investigator (along with a police detective) do a lot of follow-up.

"Our decision after all that follow-up was that we had probable cause to file a misdemeanor," he said.

Brusig had a deadline of Aug. 31 to complete the requirements of the restorative justice agreement, Edinger said. Having met, and even exceeded the community service hours requirement, she said she was satisfied that the terms had been met.

Carbondale man’s sentencing on six counts of child sex assault continued

A sentencing hearing for a Carbondale man convicted of six counts of child sex assault has been continued to Sept. 20.

Ninth Judicial District Judge Denise Lynch approved the continuance to give the Probation Department additional time to compile and provide a pre-sentence investigation report.

The report “gives the court an overall picture of the offender,” District Attorney Jeff Cheney said.

It gives the court information on the defendant’s personal and criminal history and helps determine an appropriate sentence, according to the Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice.

John Wayne Diamond was convicted in June by a jury on six counts of sex assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

The female victim in the case, who’s now 16, was the defendant’s stepdaughter at the time of the assaults.

She testified during a week-long trial and said the abuse occurred between 2011 and 2015, starting when she was 9 years old.

She said in court, with a courthouse dog present, Diamond had sexually assaulted her in a basement in August 2011, by removing her clothing and performing sexual acts on her.

Police said in reports the abuse occurred at multiple locations, including at Diamond’s office in Willits Town Center, at a house near Carbondale, and in a residence located in Basalt.

Diamond remains in Garfield County Jail until his next hearing.

Forest Service cleans up illegal marijuana grow site near Redstone

REDSTONE — U.S. Forest Service workers undertook an extensive effort last month to clean up the mess at an elaborate illegal marijuana growing operation and restore natural conditions in a patch of national forest in the Crystal Valley.

A crew of eight workers from the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District spent one day collecting garbage that ranged from kitchen refuse to several hundred yards of drip irrigation piping used to water the pot plants, according to District Ranger Karen Schroyer.

The garbage was consolidated at the site and will be flown out when helicopters stationed at an interagency base in Rifle aren't consumed in firefighting efforts, she said. The trash will be flown down to Highway 133 and trucked to an area landfill.

The illegal grow operation was discovered last September by a hiker about a half-mile off Highway 133 in steep, heavily vegetated terrain near the Placita Trailhead south of Redstone.

Forest Service law enforcement officers and officials from other agencies converged on the site Sept. 28 after obtaining a search warrant. They arrested one man but another escaped into the surrounding mountains. Fernando Esquivel Herrera was charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana plants, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

The attorney's office said in a statement that 2,700 marijuana plants were discovered growing on the site and about 3,000 had already been harvested.

Esquivel Herrera was ordered to pay $18,300 in restitution as part of his sentence. Schroyer said that is the estimated cost of the cleanup, including the future use of a helicopter. The Forest Service is uncertain if it will ever collect the restitution.

A natural resource specialist for the agency visited the site in October to assess the cleanup operation.

"The largest impacted area I observed was what I consider the 'garden' area where it appears several thousand marijuana plants were cultivated using modern and intensely managed techniques," the specialist's report said. He estimated the affected area at 1.5 acres.

The gardeners built terraces in the steep terrain to expand the space where they could grow. They excavated a catchment basin of about 30-by-30 feet and constructed an earthen dam to collect water.

"Several hundred yards of 1-inch black plastic piping (buried) leave the basin and lead directly to the growing location," the pre-cleanup report said.

The gardeners used seven piles of cut branches and brush to camouflage parts of the operation. They hid everything from fertilizer and tools to clothing and garbage. The disturbed area also included separate kitchen and camping areas, the report said.

Before sending in its crew last month, the Forest Service first hired an accredited laboratory to test if the site contained toxic chemicals. Schroyer said nothing more than common fertilizers were found and the site didn't test positive for toxins. It was deemed safe for a Forest Service crew to enter. The terrain was so steep that experienced hikers from the trails and wilderness ranger crews were recruited for the cleanup, she said.

They discovered that the forest had already done a good job of reclaiming the site and that reseeding wasn't necessary.

"We're feeling really good about it," Schroyer said.

However, the crew did find a surprise.

"There were a handful of pot plants that survived the winter, somehow, and needed to get cut down," Schroyer said.