Police: Drug deal nets six arrests

Suspected methamphetamine transaction involved armed robbery


Two Craig men were arrested Wednesday night after they used a gun to rob a Steamboat Springs man of 10 grams of methamphetamine, police said.

The incident resulted in six arrests, including five Craig residents and the Steamboat man suspected of originally possessing the methamphetamine.

Apollo William Clark, 19, and David Kim Johnston, 30, of Craig were arrested in Hayden late Wednesday night on suspicion of aggravated robbery, felony menacing and possession of methamphetamine. Johnston also was arrested on suspicion of possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

Also arrested were Craig residents Benjamin Jacob Hawks, 21; Candace Nicole Hunt, 18; and Charity Lynn Rasmussen, 21.

They were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and methamphetamine possession.

Steamboat resident Thomas Edward Payne, 38, was arrested on suspicion of methamphetamine possession, criminal use of a controlled substance, possession of a weapon by a previous offender, prohibited use of a weapon and false reporting.

Steamboat Springs police Capt. Bob Del Valle said Thursday that the five Craig residents drove from Craig to Payne's mobile home in the Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park to buy meth Wednesday.

Clark and Johnston were the only two Craig residents to enter the home, where they discussed the drug deal with Payne, who lives in the mobile home with his mother, Del Valle said.

Clark and Johnston reportedly offered Payne a .357-caliber Magnum revolver for about 10 grams of meth, Del Valle said. Ten grams of meth has a street value of about $1,000. Del Valle said Payne refused to take the gun in exchange for the drugs. After leaving the room for a short period, Clark and Johnston returned to confront Payne and pointed the gun at him and another Steamboat Springs man who was in the room, Del Valle said.

Del Valle said Johnston and Clark handled the gun at different points of the suspected robbery, and they threatened to use it if they were not given the drugs.

Payne gave the men the meth, but not before one of the Craig men struck the other Steamboat man in the head with the gun. That man was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center to receive stitches for the gash. Del Valle said no one else was injured during the suspected robbery.

Police said Clark and Johnston then left the home and headed toward Craig with Hawks, Hunt and Rasmussen, who had been waiting in the car.

Del Valle said Payne called police after the robbery and told them he had been robbed of $700 in cash. Payne gave police a description of one of the suspected robbers and their vehicle, Del Valle said.

Hayden police Officer Ed Corriveau stopped the vehicle as it passed through Hayden. He requested backup from the Routt County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado State Patrol, Del Valle said.

All five Craig residents were arrested without incident and transported to Routt County Jail.

During the investigation, officers determined that the revolver used in the suspected robbery may have been stolen from a home in the Tree Haus subdivision Wednesday afternoon. Del Valle said a plasma screen TV and a stereo system also were taken from the Tree Haus home.

Routt County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Ray Birch said two of the Craig residents arrested after the suspected drug deal are thought to have been involved in the Tree Haus burglary. Birch said a search of a Craig apartment Thursday afternoon turned up the stolen electronics.

The Tree Haus robbery remains under investigation, Birch said.

The five Craig residents and Payne appeared in Routt County Court on Thursday. Payne's bond was set at $20,000. He is scheduled to return to court Tuesday. Clark's bond was set at $50,000, and Johnston's bond was set at $75,000. Both men are scheduled to appear in Routt County Court on Tuesday.

A Routt County District Judge gave Hawks, Hunt and Rasmussen's personal recognizance bonds set at $10,000. The three are scheduled to appear in court March 28.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com


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