Alleged pot-grower arrested again
Robert M. Langley of Thomasville has been arrested a second time on charges stemming from a year-old pot-growing bust.
Langley, 45, never went to trial after the original arrest, but the charges were dismissed with the stipulation that new charges could be brought at a later date, said White River National Forest law enforcement officer Ken Rice.
“He understood that the charges could be brought back,” Rice said.
Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Denver, said Langley was charged with cultivation of marijuana on national forest land on Aug. 17, 1999. The government later filed a motion dismissing the charges without prejudice, Dorschner said, saying further investigation was needed on the case.
On July 11, 2000, Langley was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Denver for one count of “cultivation of a controlled substance on federal property, specifically, the growing of approximately 100 marijuana plants on the White River National Forest near Meredith, Colorado.”
Neither Dorschner nor Rice was able to supply the date of Langley’s second arrest or his arraignment, but Rice, contacted while working on the firefighting effort at Mesa Verde National Park, said Langley was arrested in front of the Aspen Daily News pressroom in Basalt.
Langley heard the charges against him in an arraignment in Grand Junction. Dorschner said he entered a plea of not guilty, but that is a matter of form, he said, because the plea was entered before a magistrate, and a magistrate cannot accept a guilty plea.
Discovery in the case is scheduled for Aug. 4 and motions are due by Aug. 25. A trial date has not been set, Dorschner said.
Rice said part of the delay in the process occurred when the federal Drug Enforcement Administration looked into the case. The DEA determined it did not want to be involved. So the Forest Service took up the case again.
“If the DEA doesn’t want it, we just pick up where we left off,” Rice said.
Langley was originally arrested by Rice July 27, 1999, allegedly while caring for a marijuana garden on National Forest land. He was arrested without incident. The Times reported last year that Rice took as evidence 219 marijuana plants.
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