Elected official faces 8 years in prison for illegal marijuana grow in Eagle County

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EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. -– An elected official in Eagle County and his brother are accused of running an illegal marijuana grow, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said.

Theordore “Ted” Archibeque is the elected Eagle County surveyor. Prosecutors said Archibeque and his brother Thomas Archibeque were growing marijuana in the Sweetwater area of western Eagle County.

When investigators served a search warrant on the property on Nov. 1, they found 28 plants and 65 pounds of processed marijuana, the sheriff’s office said.

“Law enforcement officers also observed what appeared to be recent construction of multiple greenhouses and an airfield,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement Thursday.

Eagle County restricts the number of marijuana plants allowed per household and all commercial marijuana grows require a use permit.

Both men have been charged with knowingly allowing the cultivation and manufacturing of marijuana, a Class 1 drug felony. If convicted, there is a mandatory prison sentence of eight years.

“We support and protect those who operate within the legal parameters, but will continue to seek out those who do not,” Sheriff James Van Beek said.

“Illegal operations disrupt a level playing field, which cannot be where one is subject to regulation and tax, and another where no rules apply,” Eagle County District Attorney Bruce Brown said. “In this situation, the alleged involvement of a publicly elected official reflects poorly on the integrity of an elected office.”