Judge: Evidence need not be suppressed in pot growing bust
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. A judge ruled Friday not to throw out evidence based on allegations of an illegal search in November. That search led to marijuana-cultivation arrests related to a suspected growing operation in a Westbank Road residence.Denying a defense motion, 9th Judicial District Judge Daniel Petre found no conduct by law enforcement tainted an affidavit resulting in a search warrant.Steven Jundt’s attorney, Kathy Goudy, had challenged the search in a motion to suppress evidence. She argued that the search was illegal because law enforcement did not initially obtain a warrant.”They had the tools. They had the facts. They chose not to follow the U.S. Constitution and the Colorado Constitution” she said. “It was an illegal search when they entered the house at the landlord’s request.”She also argued that the lease agreement did not give the landlord any authority to invite law enforcement into the residence.Deputy District Attorney Jeff Cheney argued that when officers initially entered the residence and spoke to Julia Jundt after speaking to others in the driveway, the entry did not constitute a search. He said Julia gave officers verbal consent to search, which provides for an exception to search warrant requirements. He added that law enforcement behaved reasonably when Julia said she wanted to revoke her consent after being read her Miranda rights, including having her sign a written consent form. He said law enforcement stopped their search and obtained a warrant from a judge once Julia Jundt announced she wanted to withdraw her consent.The suspected 73-plant basement marijuana-growing operation came to light last November. A landlord was showing prospective buyers a home and noticed a portion of the basement that had been sheet-rocked over to look as if it were not there. He removed the sheet-rock and told authorities he found growing marijuana. Authorities said the room could only be accessed through a hatch hidden in the closet of a room above. They said they found a handwritten letter to Hana Jundt, 19, with instructions on how to care for the crop and that they also found suspected psilocybin mushrooms.Julia Jundt, 49, was arrested Nov. 30 on suspicion of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and cultivation of marijuana.Steven Jundt, 47, pleaded not guilty to possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cultivation of marijuana on April 12, according to the Garfield County Combined Courts office. He previously sought to have the venue of his case changed but was unsuccessful.Hana Jundt and a man living on the second floor, Adam Pratt, 21, also face drug charges. Steven is the only one charged in the case who has entered a plea at this time. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team carried out the search and arrests.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. email@example.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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UPDATE 5:27 p.m. — Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon has reopened in both directions Saturday evening after a safety closure due to a flash flood warning. There were no reported mud/debris slides.