Car accident leads police to house full of marijuana

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— Perhaps the moral of the story is this: If 30-year-old Michael Edward Hlavacek would have stayed at the scene of the accident when his car rammed into the La Casa Condominiums, he may still be growing mari-

juana today.

But as luck would have it, when he sped away from the accident early Friday morning, it drew police to his house, and officers discovered a rather large amount of marijuana.

There was no investigation in progress and police were otherwise unaware of his drug-related activities, but when an officer entered Hlavacek's home in the 3300 block of Apres Ski Way to confront the driver of a hit-and-run accident, he noticed marijuana in plain view in the living room of the condo.

"It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing," said Sgt. Joel Rae of the Steamboat Springs Police Department. "We obtained a search warrant that same morning."

In a downstairs room, Rae, Officer Nick Bosick and officers from the Grand, Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team discovered 106 marijuana plants. A further search of the house turned up 22 ounces of dried marijuana, 4.6 ounces of marijuana "packaged for sale," 11.4 ounces psilocybin mushrooms and 3 grams of hashish, Rae said.

Officers arrested Hlavacek and his 29-year-old roommate, Brian Friedman. Friedman was also charged for a handful of illegal prescription drugs the officers found on his dresser.

Hlavacek's bond was set at $5,000, which he posted Friday afternoon. Friedman's bond was reduced to a $50,000 personal recognizance bond, which he will be forced to pay if he does not appear in court.

Both men were charged with possession of a schedule I substance, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, marijuana cultivation and possession of more than 8 ounces of marijuana.

Friedman was charged with possession of schedule IV drugs for the prescription drugs.

Hlavacek was also charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident (a 12-point violation), failing to notify police (12-point violation) and careless driving (4 points), Rae said.

Hlavacek and Friedman are scheduled to appear in court Dec. 6.

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