Continuance granted in marijuana case

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— The case of a Routt County man facing felony drug charges in connection with a Hilton Gulch marijuana operation was continued Wednesday in Routt County Court.

Kyle Chandler Lindahl was arrested in September in connection with a major marijuana growth and distribution operation discovered south of Steamboat Springs.

Attorney Adam Mayo was granted a continuance in Lindahl's case Wednesday, as his lawyers still are awaiting additional discovery materials.

Lindahl, 27, faces Class 4 felony charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture and distribute, and Class 5 felony charges of possession of 8 or more ounces of marijuana.

The complaint filed Oct. 2 by the District Attorney's Office notes that Lindahl allegedly committed the felonies while in possession of, or proximity to, a deadly weapon, allowing him to be charged as a special offender. Special offender status could be considered an aggravating factor in any eventual sentencing.

Class 4 felonies typically carry a maximum sentence of six years imprisonment. Class 5 felonies usually carry a maximum of three years.

Lindahl also is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty offense.

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 form 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 actively growing at the facility, as well as 23 immature plants, 23 drying strands of marijuana and dozens of discarded plants that 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 on Sept. 14 on $20,000 bond.

No additional suspects have been identified, though investigators from the Sheriff's Office and the All Crimes Enforcement Team still are poring over a list of possible associates, Sheriff's Office Investigator Ken Klinger said Wednesday.

Lindahl is due to appear at 9 a.m. Nov. 19 in Routt County Court. He has yet to enter a plea.

Kidnapping case continued

Two Hayden men accused of kidnapping and threatening a 17-year-old boy in a dispute about a stolen handgun had their cases continued Wednesday in Routt County Court.

Joey Allen Vreeman, 22, and Kenneth Edward Muhme, 30, each have been charged with felony counts of second-degree kidnapping, menacing and robbery, and misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief.

The two men are suspected of forcefully removing a teenage boy from a rest stop bathroom just east of the Moffat-Routt county line on U.S. Highway 40 on Sept. 5, taking him to Elkhead Reservoir and threatened to shoot him, according to sworn affidavits.

No plea agreement has been proposed yet by the District Attorney's Office, said attorney Kris Hammond, who represents Vreeman. Muhme is represented by Larry Combs.

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 detained Sept. 5 by the Hayden Police Department. Muhme was arrested Sept. 6 by the Routt County Sheriff's Office. They were released from the Routt County Jail on $20,000 bonds Sept. 8.

Vreeman and Muhme are due to appear at 2 p.m. Nov. 12 in Routt County Court.

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