Woman accused in pot case to challenge warrant

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— Deborah Kay Eck, the Phippsburg-area woman accused of growing marijuana unlawfully in her home, rejected a plea offer on Wednesday. Instead, she will challenge the warrant that led to the Jan. 16 raid on her home.

At the beginning of the plea hearing, Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle presented a plea offer to Eck and her lawyer, Drew Johnroe. After discussing the offer in the hall, Johnroe requested that the case instead be bound over to District Court as he files motions to suppress the evidence collected in the raid.

After the hearing, he said that he is challenging the warrant that led to the raid and arrest because the information provided from a confidential informant wasn’t worthy of earning a warrant.

Johnroe said the information from the informant was from at least six weeks before the raid, making it “stale” and unusable for a raid. The informant also said Eck “had moved all the plants” out of her house to her son’s house.

“Essentially, it was based on a confidential informant that said they would find nothing at her house,” he said.

Johnroe said that because the warrant said nothing would be found at the house, no warrant should have been issued.

When a team, led by the Routt County Sheriff’s Office, raided the two homes, officers reportedly found 58 marijuana plants in Eck’s home, but nothing in her son’s.

Routt County Judge James Garrecht could not immediately schedule a District Court date for Eck because the county’s computer system was not working.

Comments

mmjPatient22 4 years, 9 months ago

I know everyone's been on pins and needles waiting for my arrival at this comment board(facetiously), so let's begin. Really, the only thing I can say is I hope she wins and we'll wait for the justice system to work its magic. ....Oh yeah, and what an excellent use of resources(facetiously, again)!

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Doug Marsh 4 years, 9 months ago

I hope she gets off too. What she does in her own home is her business, not government's. Good luck.

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justice4all 4 years, 9 months ago

Who issued the warrant? Did the responsible person do his / her job and verify the credibility of the "informant"? Sure sounds like some lousy police work! Now that the person has been accused, incurred the expense of an attorney and been slammed in the local paper, the DA wants to plea-bargain. If there is a case---prosecute. If the accused is found not guilty or the charges dropped, she should receive a public apology from the DA and full restitution for her time, embarrassment and expenses. The DA has DEEP POCKETS---filled with tax payers money!! This is not justice for anyone. What we need is justice4all!!

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seeuski 4 years, 9 months ago

What we need is a pot in every chicken. Cluck cluck.

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freerider 4 years, 9 months ago

She's on thin ice with this one...it's still against the law and you gotta remember the feds want you to buy pot as long as it's their pot your buying....

In Colorado it's a slap on the wrist for anything under an ounce...but God forbid you actually throw a God given seed into some soil then it's the work of the devil and you should be boiled in oil....

Marijuana laws promote and support drug cartels....like the DEA and the CIA

The current MJ laws tell me it's OK to buy it and smoke it till your stupid

BUT DON'T GROW IT AND TAKE THE PROFIT'S AWAY FROM SCUMBAGS !!!

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AlphaTeam 4 years, 9 months ago

Dec, 16 2009.
I'm leaving work, on my way home for lunch when I see that I have a new voicemail. After listening to the message I learn that my mom is at the county jail awaiting bail. She had been raided by the Routt County Sheriffs department and had been arrested for growing pot (39 plants, not 58). The special offender charge was for having a pistol enclosed in a case, not for “when a person has been previously convicted of a distribution of marijuana charge, or if the person is though to be distributing marijuana” as special investigator Ken Klinger had stated in the paper on Dec 17th. Upon arrival to my home in Yampa I notice two large burn marks on my front door and I see that the trim had been blown away. I open the door and see that my house is turned upside down, there is paper work everywhere and about five pairs of black gloves on the floor. Three of my dogs are still in their cages and my black lab is cowering in the corner shaking. I let my dogs outside and head upstairs where I see my office has been torn apart and my computer has been searched. My file cabinets are dumped out and my girlfriends daughters toys are everywhere. I let my dogs back in and head for the jail to post bail for my mom. On my way back to town I receive a call from my girlfriend. Crying, she informs me that investigators (Ken Klinger and friend) had come to her office and led her into the back room for questioning. She informs me that Klinger said, they had found a "Huge bag of pot in our house" and "how could she not know that I was selling it from our residence" None of this was true, but they said it anyway. They also said that they had called CPS and that they were going to take her little girl away unless she told them what she knew about the grow operation out at my moms house. None of this was true either but it was still said. Distraught she informed them that she had only been out there a few times to let her little girl see the horses and that she knew nothing of any operation. All of which is true. After interrogating her they talked to her boss and explained why they had been there on that day.

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AlphaTeam 4 years, 9 months ago

  Upon arrival to the county jail investigators questioned me, told me that they had left a copy of the warrant, and a list of the evidence taken from my home on the kitchen table. They then gave me a card and said "if there is anything that i can think of later that I would like to tell them, give them a call", they then let me and my mom go.  I was never charged with anything because there was never anything to charge me with.  
  After reading the warrant and the evidence invoice, I learned that they had taken $19 dollars in cash from my house, two bank receipts and a phone bill.  
  When the discovery comes out we learn that my mom had been turned in by my one of my former friends whom I had legally withheld money from to pay back a debt.  He had attempted to link me with her in order to get back at me.  This former friend was currently in the system for having TWO domestic violence charges, the last one happening on Nov, 1st where he felt it necessary to hold his wife down in front of his two toddler daughters and spit in her face.  He then closed her eye with three punches to the face.  Two weeks after he called me for bail and I refused, I pulled a restraining order against him.  The restraining order was granted due to his numerous appearances at my front door demanding money and threatening me if I didn't give him what he thought I owed him.  When the Sheriffs dept. served him with the warrant he told them about the plants at my moms and how I had close to 100 plants at my house too.  The DA later made a deal with him for his testimony and appointed him a private lawyer at someone’s expense.  He was never tried for his domestic violence and child abuse charges and last I heard he was in the Clear Creek County jail for violating someone’s protection order!!! 
 In the Discovery we also learned that the Sheriffs Dept. "Alpha Team" never used explosive
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AlphaTeam 4 years, 9 months ago

devices on my door, in their sworn affidavid they claim that they "knocked three times, then noticed that the door was open so they made entry" Funny, caused that is not what my neighbor saw, or what the two round burn marks on my door say. They also swear that they had asked my girlfriend about me and my mom and that it was all recorded for use as evidence. Funny, the tape magically disappeared, and no matter how many times my moms lawyer requested it, they just can't find it. Wonder Why??? The investigator also claims to have driven by both residences to confirm the addresses that were give to him by the informant. He also swore under oath in the discovery that he had taken pictures that were part of attachment C in the warrant. In reality their was never a picture of my home, there was a picture of my moms house, although it said google on the bottom right corner, and even though the investigator swears it was taken on the 24th of Nov, the aspen trees still had all of their leaves on them and the grass in the easement was four feet tall. Strange? The Discovery also had electrical comparisons with other nearby homes. The investigator noted that only homes that used all electrical and no propane could be used considering that both my moms and my home used only baseboard heat. Even though he knew what to do, he still decided to use four homes with propane to make his comparison. Low and behold both of our homes were higher and there is your warrant.
So, those are the facts, well most of them, but I don’t have the time to explain to you how ridiculous it was for them to use the informant considering his probation officer at the time had ordered him to undergo psychiatric evaluation, and it was a clear case of retaliation against me. But the investigator found him to be credible and he did know about the few plants at my moms. To bad his ex didn’t get any justice for the multiple beatings she endured. Unfortunately it is probably going to cost me more than it is worth to get my door fixed. I’m honestly just glad that both my girlfriend and I were at work and that no one was home because god only knows what Alpha Team would have done. Bravo Team found it necessary to hold assault rifles at my moms head while they searched, and she is 61.
Sheriff Wall is always criticizing other law enforcement agencies for using excessive force, abusing their power, violating residents constitutional rights, and having ethical issues. If he added to these accusations, animal cruelty, misrepresenting facts to the media, and wasting tax-payers money, he would be describing the Routt County Sheriffs Dept.

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!!!

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mmjPatient22 4 years, 9 months ago

Wow! I bet the Sheriff's Dept is cringing right now.

And by the way, if you need any help fixing your door or your mom's door, let me know. It would be my honor to help you out with the labor part of it if you cover supplies.

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bandmama 4 years, 9 months ago

Please keep the updates coming with this! Those of us who know both you and your mom know that something isn't quite right with the official version of the raid It sure is odd how little information has been provided to the public about this HUGE bust, after a few questions have been raised! Good for your Mom for not being intimidated and standing her ground.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 9 months ago

It was more of a huge raid (two assault teams including personnel from Eagle) and a small bust (few dozen plants). Hopefully, the sheriff's dept did an internal review to learn how their expectations were so far from what they found.

Obviously, their electrical usage calculations were wrong because it would have shown there was not a major growing operation if it had been done correctly. I hope they learn how to make that calculation correctly before they try to get another growing operation warrant.

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AlphaTeam 4 years, 9 months ago

50 plus pages of spredsheets and graphs were part of their calculations comparing our homes to the four comps that were chosen. Eventhough they all had propane and he did say that he could not use homes with propane because that would not make an acceptable comp. They did note that there was a significant spike in electrical usage on my moms house from the late 90's to present. She didn't buy the place till 2006. 170 plus pages in total for the discovery. 10 plus pages were dedicated to their education and backrounds explaining their qualifications. Alot of time was put into this investigation.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 9 months ago

Alpha, From the perspective of protecting public safety, I think the critical fact is that they did electricity usage research that failed to find the expected results. That sort of research is supposed to be very strong because (after some quick research) a commercial growing operation would have many 400W HPS lights that, in total, would use hundreds of dollars of electricity a month.

So if your or your mom's monthly electricity bill was hundreds of dollars more a month than previous owners then I could understand their research for the warrant.

Seems to me that their research and qualifications was proven wrong by the lack of finding a large growing operation. I'd actually feel better if it had been done by someone that had read an article and created a simple (but wrong) spreadsheet. Then the error would be easy to understand.

The idea that it was created by "experts" and consisted of 170 pages is just scary. That raises the question of whether they decided early on that they were going to use electricity usage to prove their case and continued on that track even when a normal reading of usage would have shown there was not a growing operation.

I'd love to get a copy (preferably in electronic form) in order to review their research. Can find my number in the phone book if that is possible.

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bandmama 4 years, 9 months ago

I was in your moms house while your grandma was alive....cold as....very chilly downstairs.... AND I saw nothing but a possible Wandering Jew..as in a house plant....

We would be happy to help with repairs also!

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mmjPatient22 4 years, 9 months ago

Alpha- My pleasure. That was no joke on the offer. If needed, I'll be there. And I promise that the work will be quality.

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freerider 4 years, 9 months ago

That sounds like Routt County bacon at work for sure...

Be prepared for line-up of cops to lie in court about what happened Cops are professional liars when they want to win a case like this

They lie with no guilt or remorse because it's the law they serve and it's OK to say whatever they want to

Good luck , I hope you win your motion to suppress

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kathy foos 4 years, 8 months ago

What a rotton guy that informant is,Is that the best you can do sherriff Wall?Thats like asking Charles Manson to help you out.Our taxes pay for this crap.He gets off beating his wife bloody twice,stop doing your nasty informant deals,they suck!Well you got what you deserved this time for playing with the devil,literally.Or should I say his beat up wife did and ms.Eck,Big suprise he lied to get out of prison,let a creep like that go to prison,I cant believe you inabled him to terrorize the neighborhood ,even led the way for him.

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14th_to_OAR 4 years, 8 months ago

Justice4all, Alpha Team, Scott W.Sun and others who are outraged at this please work to get to the root of the problem. Elizabeth Oldham (aka LO) has the power to prosecute the case or not and she's prosecuting it. The DA is the most powerful player in the criminal justice system - more than the cops or the judge. And she will aid and abet the lying of the cops and the evidence "losses" every step of the way. She did it when she was kicked out to Summit after her ethical violations with former DA PM and destroyed his family in the process. She pranced around the courthouse every day pretending to be the friend of someone who instead she was betraying everyday.

She committed clear cut ethical violations is Summit too. Alpha, be happy your uncaged dog wasn't shot, as this is routine practice in many of these no-knock raids.

See this blog post from me at www.abusivediscretion.wordpress.com - the specific post is here - http://wp.me/pzqev-bR

Do you really want LO in office through December 2012.

I hear some folks are interested in a recall, and I would like to help. My blog has a lot of readership and I write other online articles that get good readership. While you're at it, anyone in Grand vote, and tell your friends to register as Republicans if only for the primary to make sure Kobe DA Mark Hurlbert does not get elected to the state senate.

Here's a Hitler YouTube video spoof I did of him, another enabler/trainer of this corrupt DA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmUbjm...

Please email me if you would like to get involved in a campaign, or if you have information, solid information, about ethical violations or ineptitude by Oldham.

<p>Victoria.Laura39@gmail.com>

I will keep anyone who wants to remain confidential as confidential as you like. Oldham never would have been elected in a big city where her horrendous conduct would have come out in the media. Her opponent made a mistake in not using it before. It is not "going negative" to point out ethical violations by a sworn officer of the court, who is counted upon to tell the truth in court every single day. Fortunately, I no longer live in Colorado so I can write the truth without fear of reprisal.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 8 months ago

The police will defend informants as it takes bad people to know bad stuff. Police run in serious second guessing when they are forgiving more serious crimes than what the informant is helping them catch. Personally, I wouldn't take a mj growing operation over physical violence.

That part that I think is most disturbing is the electricity usage analysis that presumably convinced the judge that there were two major growing operations. That sort of evidence is supposed to be like DNA - ie scientific and virtually never wrong. Well, they got it wrong for both houses (the one that had mj was way too minor and not a major growing operation). That just should not happen. Sheriff dept should bring in CBI expert to find out how it got scientific evidence so wrong.

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mmjPatient22 4 years, 8 months ago

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like law enforcement, nation-wide, is struggling to come up with enough validity for their war against cannabis. The national opinion on cannabis is rapidly changing and it's starting to scare a lot of the people that have previously depended on the illegality of cannabis to put bread on the table. It's understandable. If the necessity for my particular industry suddenly vanished or was put in great peril, I might be a little worried too. The underlying issue is that the majority of Americans no longer see the sanity in endlessly pursuing the criminalization of something that was unjustly demonized(via racism, I might add) over 7 decades ago. Californians will be voting to correct this injustice with-in their own state laws later this year. It's really no surprise but it's also about damn time. As with medical marijuana, Colorado will probably closely follow suit with California and move to vote on full legalization and taxation of cannabis in 2012. I hope that a majority of you will stand with me in voicing your disgust over the way that our country thinks it can treat people who choose to use cannabis in any capacity.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barry-bortnick/will-california-lead-to-a_b_517252.html

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mmjPatient22 4 years, 8 months ago

Well hells bells! Looks like Oregon is heading towards cannabis legalization in the not so distant future too!

http://www.cannabistaxact.org/

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