Men sentenced for growing marijuana

The Denver Federal Court sentenced two Steamboat Springs men to prison for growing marijuana in their condominium.

The Denver Federal Court sentenced Michael E. Hlavacek, 31, to one year with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and three years of supervised released. Brian J. Friedman, 30, was sentenced to five months of federal prison and five months of home detention.

Hlavacek and Friedman were convicted of manufacturing marijuana.

The charges stem from a Nov. 15, 2002, arrest. The Steamboat Springs Police Department and the Grand, Routt and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team found 106 marijuana plants, 22 ounces of dried marijuana, 4.6 ounces of marijuana "packaged for sale," 11.4 ounces of psilocybin mushrooms and 3 grams of hashish in the men's home at 3335 AprÃs Ski Way.

Police got a warrant to search the condo after an officer noticed marijuana in plain view when he entered the home to confront Hlavacek about leaving the scene of an accident. Hlavacek fled when his car rammed into the La Casa Condominiums.

Officers arrested Hlavacek and Friedman on charges of possession of a schedule I substance, marijuana possession with the intent to distribute, marijuana cultivation and possession of more than 8 ounces of marijuana.

Friedman also was arrested on charges of possession of schedule IV drugs for a few illegal prescription drugs officers found on his dresser.

Hlavacek also was charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident, failure to notify police and careless driving.

Those chares were dismissed when the case moved to federal court, where they faced counts of conspiring to cultivate marijuana, cultivating marijuana and cultivating 100 or more marijuana plants.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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