Large-scale pot grower could be released on bond Friday

5:26 PM, Mar 11, 2010   |    comments
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A federal judge agreed to a $10,000 cash bond and home confinement at a bond hearing on Feb. 18. Friday's hearing will determine whether he has met the terms of the judge's bond ruling.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided the home where Chris Bartkowicz, 36, lived in Highlands Ranch near C-470 and University Boulevard in February. Agents say they discovered 224 marijuana plants in various stages of development.

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

State law allows six marijuana plants per patient. Investigators say Bartkowicz has more plants than the per patient ratio allows.

Bartkowicz' attorney has indicated Bartkowicz will plead guilty at a later date to one count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

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

The date for the change of plea hearing has not been set and it is not expected to take place Friday.

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

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


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