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Large scale marijuana grower expected to plead guilty

6:26 PM, Mar 9, 2010   |    comments
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Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided the home where Chris Bartkowicz, 36, lived in Highlands Ranch near C-470 and University Boulevard last month. Agents say they discovered 224 marijuana plants in various stages of development.

Bartkowicz pleaded not guilty on March 5 to a federal charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. That same day, Bartkowicz's attorney filed a notice of disposition telling a judge that the prosecution and defense have reached an agreement in the case and a change of plea proceeding is needed.

"The prosecution and defense are waiting for a judge to set a change of plea hearing date, where [Bartkowicz] will be given an opportunity to plead guilty," U.S. Attorney spokesman Jeff Dorschner told 9Wants to Know.

Any details of a plea agreement would not be made public until a plea hearing, Dorschner said.

Bartkowicz told 9Wants to Know last month he grew the marijuana for medicinal use for himself and people he cared for.

If convicted of the federal drug charge, Bartkowicz faces five to 40 years in a federal prison.

In a jailhouse interview, Bartkowicz told 9Wants to Know each plant he grew was medically necessary for him or his patients.

U.S. Bureau of Prisons records show Bartkowicz is still being held in a federal jail.

Bartkowicz is expected back in federal court on March 12 at 10 a.m. in front of Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer.

If you have a comment or a tip for investigative reporter Jace Larson, e-mail or call 303-871-1432.


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