Routt County man pleads guilty to cultivation of marijuana



Routt County Jail

Kyle Lindahl

— A Routt County man facing multiple felonies in connection with a Hilton Gulch drug bust earlier this year accepted a plea agreement Wednesday in Routt County District Court. He is expected to serve 90 days in jail.

Kyle Chandler Lindahl was arrested in September in connection with a marijuana growth and distribution operation discovered south of Steamboat Springs. Lindahl, 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday to cultivation of marijuana, a Class 4 felony, and possession of 1 to 8 ounces of marijuana, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Pending a pre-sentence investigation by the Probation Department, Lindahl is due to spend four years on supervised probation for the felony charge, and serve 90 days in jail on the misdemeanor, attorney Kris Hammond said. He also will pay $2,100 in fines and have his driver's license suspended for 90 days.

Lindahl originally faced Class 4 felony charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture or distribute, a Class 5 felony charge of possession of 8 or more ounces of marijuana, and a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty offense.

On the cultivation of marijuana charge, sentences usually are two to six years in prison, Judge Shelley Hill said Wednesday.

The marijuana operation in question was discovered in the 21800 block of Routt County Road 41A, in the Hilton Gulch area south of Steamboat Springs, after a Routt County Sheriff's Office deputy received a tip from the property owner Sept. 12. In addition to a grow operation in three rooms above a two-car garage on the property, a search also turned up bags of marijuana ready for sale and a loaded .22 caliber rifle.

Investigators found plants as tall as 3 feet growing at the facility, in addition to immature plants, drying strands of marijuana and dozens of discarded plants that already had been harvested.

Lindahl was arrested Sept. 13 on suspicion of possession of marijuana, sale of an illegal substance and possession of a deadly weapon. He was released from Routt County Jail the next day on $20,000 bond.

Lindahl is set to appear for sentencing at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 22 in Routt County District Court.

More charges filed in Hayden kidnapping case

The District Attorney's Office will file additional felony charges this week against two Hayden men accused of kidnapping a 17-year-old boy and threatening to shoot him in an alleged dispute over a stolen gun.

Joey Allen Vreeman, 22, and Kenneth Edward Muhme, 30, each were originally charged with felony counts of second-degree kidnapping, menacing and robbery, and misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief. Each also will face four additional counts of felony aggravated robbery and two counts of crime of violence, which would trigger a mandatory prison sentence if either is found guilty.

"Given a fact that there was a shotgun and a knife involved, and there were threats, those charges are appropriate," prosecutor Carl Stahl said Wednesday.

In August, Vreeman reported a handgun stolen from his residence and indicated to Hayden police that he suspected the alleged kidnapping victim and another juvenile took it.

Vreeman and Muhme allegedly confronted the boy at a rest stop bathroom just each of the Moffat-Routt county line on U.S. Highway 40 on Sept. 5. After putting the boy in a chokehold, the two allegedly carried him out of the bathroom and put him in a vehicle after rifling through his pockets and taking cash, a pocket knife and sunglasses, according to sworn affidavits.

Vreeman then allegedly drove to Elkhead Reservoir, where he threatened to shoot the boy with a shotgun, according to sworn affidavits. During the drive, Muhme allegedly pulled a knife and threatened to use it if the boy "did something stupid," and repeatedly threatened to beat him with a sock full of quarters, the affidavits state.

If convicted of kidnapping - the most serious crime each man is charged with - they could face eight to 24 years in prison on the Class 2 felony charge.

Vreeman was arrested Sept. 5 by the Hayden Police Department. Muhme was arrested the following day by the Routt County Sheriff's Office. They were released from Routt County Jail on $20,000 bonds on Sept. 8.

Muhme and Vreeman are set to appear in Routt County Court for preliminary hearings at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 16.


Kat Kelly 8 years, 5 months ago

Serve 90 Days while spending 90 Days in Jail, wow what a dealer


smart65 8 years, 5 months ago

I wonder how many people he ratted out to get off so easy?


Duke_bets 8 years, 5 months ago

Freerider states that there are over 300 illnesses that marijuana cures. The entire post is absurd, but that comment goes above and beyond ignorance.

Freerider - Do you know the definition of 'cure'? Evidently not!

A full blown growing operation, distribution operaton, and loaded guns...............90 days in jail???????????? Only in Colorado do drug dealers get off that easy.


freerider 8 years, 5 months ago

2 to 6 years for growing a plant....hmmmm when is the Federal Mafia going to lighten up on this issue. Maybe they should try lighting up themselves. In Colorado you can buy less than an ounce from a dealer and support the drug trade and get a slap on the wrist if you get caught with a parking ticket , but if you grow it you go to jail..this basically tells me that the Government wants pot smokers to support drug dealers. If you grow your own then the price will go to zero and Dea agents will have to get real jobs. How long has the drug war been going on now..40 ,50, 60 years..?? Billions and billions of dollars at stake...follow the money..Marajuana has never caused an overdose in the recorded history of the World according to the Surgeon General of the U.S.A. however prescription medicine prescibed by your friendly neighborhood Doctor kills tens of thousands of people every year. If the Fed really wanted to keep us safe from dangerous drugs then they would legalize pot and go after company's like Merck. If anybody takes the time to actually read the Marajuana Tax act of 1937 then you will know why pot was made illegal in the first place. To protect Corporate greed. Marajuana was a threat to the textile company's , the cotton grower's , and the paper mills. Plus there is a little racism involved. The Mexican migrant workers loved to smoke pot and people like William Randolf Hearst hated Mexican's. He had also invested heavily in paper mills for his rag that he printed. At the time newspapers were printed on hemp paper just like the constitution of the United States. Hearst was a major player in lobbying against the use of marajuana, he wanted paper to be printed on wood pulp instead of hemp. The father of our Country George Washington was a hemp farmer. George Washington was a smart man....marajuana is not a "Drug" it's a frekin plant that God put here on Earth for us to enjoy. It's more of a herb than anything, There are over 300 illnesses that marajuana cures..but you won't hear that anytime soon from the DEA...cheers to all...peace is best...stop the war


Kat Kelly 8 years, 5 months ago

Whoops meant Drivers Lic. suspended for the 90 days spent in Jail :)


Scott Wedel 8 years, 5 months ago

Well, it was always my suspicion that anyone so out of it to be doing this while the landlord was showing the property to potential tenants, that it was mostly for personal use which he thought was okay. And the reason it was such a major cultivation operation is because that is how much he used.


JLM 8 years, 5 months ago

This is all George W Bush's fault, isn't it?


Duke_bets 8 years, 5 months ago

mystik - Your post actually tops freerider on the not too brilliant scale. "A service to the community"...........Sober up and lay off the smoke.


mystikmuzak 8 years, 5 months ago

It is laughable that weed is even illegal still... nearly everyone i know smokes...and those that dont dont not because of its legality it is simply a personal choice...i salute mr lindahl (not only for the quality of the herb he was growing cause it was nice...) but for providing a service to the community...would you rather someone was growing locally or would you rather have a mexican cartel import it? how do you think the kennedys made their money?
bootlegging alcohol during the prohibition and as i recall from the kennedys we got a president an attorney general a congressman so...everyone knows the law is a farce... although it is kind of funny that the landlord found it


aichempty 8 years, 5 months ago

How sad that in a beautiful place like Routt County, people need to stay ####ed-up on marijuana to get through the day.

It's an addiction and it takes the place of self-improvement and contribution back to the community.

You've pretty much got to figure that anyone smoking pot every day is self-medicating for depression or some other mental illness. Same as alcohol. Same as prescription drug addictions.

The argument that pot should be legalized makes no more sense than converting all psycho-active drugs to over-the-counter status. From what I've seen, when people are so screwed up on pot that they can't even hold a job emptying the trash, how can any responsible person want it made freely available?

Merck and the others make lots of money selling "legal" drugs, but it's only because weak minds rely on them and doctors are anxious to prescribe pills. My doctor wanted to give me a sedative (probably xanax) to counter "edginess" caused by taking antihistamines every day (just in case I ran into something that caused an allergic reaction). My choice was to leave off the allergy pills until I actually had a reaction, and I probably take 2 or 3 Zyrtecs or Claritin or fexafenodine a month now instead of one every day. I feel better, don't snap at people for nothing, and haven't had to repair a door in months.

When a simple little harmless allergy pill has a side effect of "arrests for assault" listed in the fine print, you've got to stop and wonder about things that are intentionally used to alter one's state of mind. Marijuana use is a sign of affliction, and the user should be pitied, and the trafficker should be locked up for ten years for the first offense. That's what makes sense.


mtroach 8 years, 5 months ago

aichempty, "edginess" 'could it be your lack of participation in the forum led to unresolved feelings? I'm glad you didn't take the RushL Road to pills, and more pills, good for you commander you are much stronger person than many americans.

"When a simple little harmless allergy pill has a side effect of "arrests for assault" listed in the fine print," What do you think METH is made from... that's right your harmless allergy pills.

Now please explain how the "war" on drugs can be won without legalization, and the controls that legalization and taxation would allow. Keeping drug use in the closet allows criminals to control it's use and distrubution. Criminals do not care who buys their product, or how it's used. Liquor was illegal and spanned a multi-million dollar bootleg industry, because some people still wanted that drink. Illegal drugs have turned parts of mexico and south america into a war zone run by uncontrollable drug tzars. We can't completly stop drug use, but we can keep criminals from benifiting from people's addictions. It's time to reevaluate our drug policy, Legalize some products, tax and monitor their use, use the tax revenue to help people with real addiction, and just say no to the blind "war" on drugs.


trump_suit 8 years, 5 months ago

Without approving of the use of drugs to alter ones mental state. This ongoing drug war has been a spectacular failure. Look at any metropolitan or rural area and you will find that your drug of choice if easily available. Who have we stopped from using these substances with this so called "war on drugs"?

Just like the prohibition of alchohol did not work, the "war on drugs" does not and has not worked for the average american citizen. All we have accomplished is to funnel large amounts of money into the black market delivery system, and increased the number of guns and crime in our communities. We have also fostered the entire gang culture and large scale smuggling operations.

In my opinion, we would be far better off as a county to put the money being spent in interdiction and criminal prosecution into treatment and education for our children. We could be far more effective fighting this problem in our homes schools and churches than we are fighting it in the streets and jails. This system could be paid for from the taxes levied on those same substances

It is time we face the reality that there is a certain segment of our population that will choose to use these substances regardless of the laws we make against them. We need to fight this battle at a different level. The current system does not work and has not put even a small dent in the size and scope of the problem.

I am sure that many of you will argue that even one drug dealer off the streets makes America safer. I would counter with the argument that with each small time user we expose to the prison system, the problem gets worse and that individual is a detriment to society forever more.

Once again, my argument does not approve of of condone the use/abuse of these substances. I argue for legalization because it is time to try another way. The current system does not work.


Kristopher Hammond 8 years, 5 months ago

Taking one drug dealer off the street just creates a business opportunity.


JLM 8 years, 5 months ago

Hell, let's not just legalize it, let's require that everybody in SBS smoke a joint a day every day. Now are you happy? We could write folks tickets for failing to get high regularly. Let's make sure the cops, teachers, snow plow drivers and the fire department folks report for freakin' work stoned. Why not?

To suggest that there is some correlation between the difficulty to enforce something and the justification for abandoning common sense enforcement is to just turn the world over to the "users" and the "losers."

I know that Washington raised hemp but there is damn little evidence that he was stoned during the American Revolution.

Why don't we try to legalize common sense for a change?

And, hey, let's all have a nice damn day and stop what you're doing right now and go smoke a joint!


trump_suit 8 years, 5 months ago

JLM, those kinds of thoughts and comments do little to address the real problem. Clearly you are as off base and do not reflect the true size and scope of the problem. In my comments, I very clearly do not support the use/abuse of these substances, and I take offense that you would wirte what is essentially a cartoon respose to such a serious issue.

We can largely disagree about the proper response to this problem, but your comments do little to help find a solution.


mystikmuzak 8 years, 5 months ago

where can i find this "not too brilliant scale?" sounds like it can change the world...

even though people are very similar, every person is different and every person knows their body the best...some people prefer eating Mcdonalds every day, and some refuse to eat meat, some people have allergies which they use "drugs" to control some people suffer depression and take anti-depression medication some people break their leg skiing and take pain relievers some people are prone to headaches and take advil everyone knows their own body best

i do not condone substance abuse, but that is different than use

is it ok to have a glass of wine with dinner? how about 2? how about 2 bottles? should you decide how much is right for me?

is it ok to use strong prescription pain relievers when you are injured? what if you take 2 pills instead of 1?

is it ok to take medication to control your allergies? why not?

is it ok to take mood stabilizing drugs if you are unstable? anti-depression drugs if you are depressed? anti-anxiety drugs if you have a hard time dealing with anxiety?

my point is this... i know my body better than anyone else does...i may not be a doctor or ever dissected a human body, but i do know when i am hungry, i do know when i am tired, i know when i crave milk , i know when i crave citrus, i know when i hurt, i know when i am sick


mystikmuzak 8 years, 5 months ago

if i find something to add to my diet that helps me in any way who are you to decide that it is right or wrong?

if you believe that you need to take claritin that is fine with me if you believe that you need to take Xanax fine with me if you believe that you like a glass of wine or 6 with dinner that is fine with me

it is a question of tolerance i tolerate everyone who does not hurt other people i simply request tolerance in return

there are some 6 billion people on this earth and there are just as many different lifestyle choices

do you stand above and pass judgement on peoples choices? how do you feel about people ethnically different than yourself? how about people with different sexual orientations?

if everyone just minded their own business life would be oh so much simpler

do YOU know what is right and wrong? then YOU do right let ME worry about ME

i believe that FREEDOM means you should have a great amount of leeway when it comes to living your life in whatever lifestyle you long as it doesn't hurt anyone

i know you are going to argue that someone smoking pot causes great societal damage to those around them...but really? do you honestly believe those commercials that aired a few years ago that tried to convince you that smoking marijuana directly funded terrorists? if you could get people to be candid with you (which i doubt many people would be candid with someone that has a statedly closed and judgemental mind) i think that you would find not only an extremely tolerant view of smoking marijuana, but you would find an extrememly large percentage occasionally indulge, but it is like anything, moderation is the best path, in anything.

people have smoked marijuana for upwards of 5000 years...and have used intoxicants for ever....

animals also are drawn to intoxicants...have you ever given your cat catnip? maybe we should ban catnip for its corrupting effects of kitty society and for the cat itself, and put the employees at petsmart in jail to rehabilitate them (just kidding about rehabilitation i meant punish) for daring to provide such a dangerous herb into the hands (paws) of those that enjoy it

of course nobody needs to smoke marijuana but nobody needs to take allergy medication either maybe nature should take its course, survival of the fittest and all of that

but thankfully we have a wide variety of options to make our modern life longer, healthier, more diverse, how you choose to utilize the options open to you is up to you, and it is ok with me, your business is your business and everyone should prefer to keep it that way

by the way i wear size 10 1/2 shoes if you are wondering


aichempty 8 years, 5 months ago

Anybody who lets something they voluntarily put into their body control their life should be pitied. Is the purpose of 3.5 billion years of evolution really to end up with the dominant species being left free to go around screwed up on intoxicating substances? If so, I think we need one more asteroid, to give the roaches a shot at becoming an intelligent species.

Maybe I can understand people living in mud huts in Mexico wanting to stay high all the time, but you've got to wonder, which came first? The high part, or the mud hut part? Maybe if they didn't have the option of being screwed up all the time, they wouldn't be living in stone age conditions.


Scott Wedel 8 years, 5 months ago

Self medication whether it be illegal drugs, legal drugs or alcohol is probably an unsolvable problem. All that can be done is to offer rehab and pick a few of the most harmful and addictive drugs for law enforcement to target to try to make not worth the risk to make or manufacture or sell.

Though, in a sense, this case was going to be tough on the defendant because even if was moonshining instead of growing pot, the scale of the illegal activity was a large, presumably highly profitable business. If it was moonshine or pot, that large of a criminal business has to be expected to result in jail time.

Legalizing pot and others will not end the drug was just as the end of prohibition did not end moonshining. The business of illegal manufacture was first to make an illegal product and then continued when it was legal in order to avoid taxes and regulations.


jmemcse 8 years, 5 months ago

Sure, there's a big push to shop and buy locally, keep the money in the valley and all that, but guys like Kyle Lindahl get put out of business. Now the terrorists will end up with all the steamboat pot money.

I still say legalize pot and tax the doo doo out of it.


aichempty 8 years, 5 months ago


Are you aware of the cigarette and alcohol bootlegging operations along the U.S.-Canadian border? Why smuggle stuff that's legal? To avoid the taxes, of course.

Taxing pot will only provide another incentive to produce and distribute it illegally.

Speaking of Lindhal's "pot money," where DID it go? Doesn't it seem strange that a guy with that kind of drug operation was living in a rented house?

When Mr. Obama succeeds in pulling our National Guard troops out of Iraq, they can be mobilized by the governors of their states to perform law-enforcement duties. You can't do that with federal troops, but it's fine for the Guard. If pot money is going to terrorists, then putting a few hundred-thousand Guardsmen to work patrolling the streets and borders to deter trafficking might be a really good idea.

Seems to me that the same skills and techniques that have been used to track insurgents in Iraq would work very well against drug traffickers in the United States.


flotilla 8 years, 5 months ago

Aichempty, please support your statement about bootlegging operations along the US - Canadian border with some statistics. I would like to know how much money the US loses from these operations, how much the US spends on policing these operations. (talking about the United States only, not the UK and not Africa or Europe) Now compare them to the amount of money that the US spends, currently, on the drug war. Shed a tear for our national debt. Continue to defend your greedy republican croonies who buy strippers and yachts with stolen money.

Insert statistics about pot usage and non-violent crimes, prisons being filled with non violent criminals, other usages of the plant (rope, fiber, paper, blah blah blah) here.

Judging by your posts you seem to be republican. And republicans always tout their stance on "small" government (remember McCain) but by legislating pot, the social host ordiance and other invasive governing you are brainwashing kids to miss out on learning how to take care of themselves. To LEARN the difference between right and wrong. You are also making it more and more possible for parents to quit acting like parents... you know, the people who are supposed to know where their own kids are and what they are doing. It fosters denile. Teach your kids about the dangers of cocaine, pot, alcohol and cigarettes and keep track of them, then, cross your fingers. If all they pick up is a joint now and again, good work.
For the folks that think Lindahl assited in their child's downfall by growing pot... POT IS NOT FREE. DEALERS DON'T GIVE FREE SAMPLES. IT COSTS AT LEAST $50- DO YOUR KIDS HAVE A SPARE $50? Kids that get everything from their folks. New ipods, snowboards, video games, name brand clothes. Guess who is paying for their pot? You are. And if your kid is paying for their own weed they must have a job and eb able to keep it... sooo....


aichempty 8 years, 5 months ago


No, I'm not a republican. I'm a libertarian, if anything.

It's obvious from your post that you support marijuana use.

Isn't there anything better you could do with your life? Sounds to me like the number one priority is making enough cash to fund a need for weed.

I think the war on drugs is pretty much lost anyway, and the result is going to be that American kids who wasted their youth trying to stay high and listening to crappy MP3s through ear buds will be working for chump change in businesses owned by hard-working immigrants.

As for my kid, well, he has a job you'd probably die for; he's a high school senior in another state, with press credentials, and he gets paid to cover the high school sports events for the local newspaper. His mother monitors his bank account (he's got a debit card for the account where his checks are deposited) and gives him just enough money every day to pay for his lunches. So, if he's buying weed, he's giving up two weeks of eating lunch to afford it.

Know what else? He's already been told that once he turns 18, he's either in college and making passing grades, or he goes to work full time and can take college classes at night. If he can't handle both, then he moves out and supports himself. He's not coming home to lounge around and be supported by his parents if he pi$$es away his opportunity to have a decent life.

Whatever he does, it's on his back. We can only do so much, and the rest is up to him. Same for you.

Calling off the war on drugs is not going to solve anything. Some people are incapable of running their own lives and supporting themselves, and why is it that so many of them seem to be drug users? Should we just give them a place to live, and feed them, and give them money to buy drugs? Are they going to be happy cleaning toilets and emptying the trash?

Psycho-active drugs are used to alter your mood and perceptions. If you're a user, you're not capable of understanding what's wrong with it, because the drug removes the ability to make the distinction. It's subtle, insidious, and subconscious, but it's true and it's real. If using a psycho-active drug made you feel guilty, would you continue to use it? If it made you regret using it, would you continue? No. So, in the grand scheme of evolution, nature has provided plants which contain mind-altering substances, and those plants have got people willing to go to jail or die to get the substances the plants produce.

Would you take the same risk to eat a salad made with lettuce and tomatoes? Why not? Is the light starting to come on?

If you're sacrificing your time on Earth to pursue intoxication as a raison d'etre (a "reason to be"), what's admirable about that? If you're a user, you're a loser, and it will catch up with you one way or another. I'd like to think that human beings are here for more than mindless self-medication, but hey, that's just one man's opinion.


playa46 8 years, 5 months ago

There is nothing wrong with Marijuana use. It is kind of sad that it is still illegal. I mean cmon, it's NOT addictive and it gives relief to people. Alcohol kills more people than Marijuana. We should legalize and tax it.


aichempty 8 years, 4 months ago

And another space opens up for a hard-working immigrant's kid to make it in America.



aichempty 8 years, 4 months ago


Whatever you are, good luck with it.

I hope your plan survives contact with real life.


playa46 8 years, 4 months ago

HA, you don't think I have plans for my future aichempty? Still blind from what you think is right? Don't worry old man... I'll stay off your land.

Please, keep accusing me off things I am not, you keep making my day.


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