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Suspected Ecstasy pills, guns found by deputies

by Eric Mullens

WALSENBURG — A call by a concerned citizen reporting an argument between a young couple in a business parking lot on Sunday, September 10 has led to Huerfano Sheriff’s Captain Milan Rapo to seek a felony arrest warrant against a Durango, CO man.

Captain Rapo and HCSO Deputies Paul Saunders and Clay Klipfel responded to the citizen’s call on a Sunday morning at the Safeway parking lot where they contacted 25-year old Zachery Blackmore and 22-year old Shana Hofmeister. Upon making contact Capt. Rapo ran the license plate on the couple’s Dodge Ram pick up truck and they came back assigned to a BMW car. When a computer check of the pair’s names came back, both were wanted on extraditable misdemeanor warrants from Durango. Blackmore had three active warrants and Hofmeister had one. Both subjects were placed in custody on the warrants and Blackmore told Rapo there were also firearms in the vehicle. Rapo began to secure the firearms and as he moved one of the vehicle seats forward to retrieve a rifle, he observed a bag of suspicious pills.

“At that point everything stopped,” Rapo said. He applied for a search warrant and after it was signed, took custody of the three handguns and the one long gun. All of the weapons came back clear, indicating they were not stolen. The search warrant also yielded numerous zip lock baggies containing anywhere from 10 to 50 pills each. In total, 575 blue pills and other pills of various shapes and sizes were seized. Rapo said some of the pills had a Starbuck stamp on them and others had stamps similar to children’s vitamins, and others even bore the Warner Bros. film company logo.

All of the pills, suspected to be ecstasy or MDMA, have been sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for testing. Blackmore and Hofmeister were both transported to Durango on their active warrants prior to the execution of the search warrant.

This week, Capt. Rapo was seeking a judge’s signature on an arrest warrant for Blackmore charging unlawful distribution, manufacturing or sale of a class one controlled substance (DF 1 or drug felony one), a charge of special offender DF1- concerning the co-location of suspected illegal drugs and firearms, and a count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a DF4 charge. The 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office has already approved and signed the felony arrest warrant. Blackmore was also charged with a misdemeanor traffic offense for the fictitious license plate.

If Blackmore is still in custody in La Plata County, and a local judge signs the arrest warrant, it will be served to him at the jail. If he has bonded out of his misdemeanor warrants there, the felony arrest warrant will be uploaded to the state and federal crime computer system. Hofmeister was not charged in connection with the suspected drugs found in the vehicle.

No charges concerning the initial citizen’s call regarding an argument were filed. Hofmeister told deputies the couple were headed to Florida, while Blackmore said they were going to Durango.

According to the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse, methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception (awareness of surrounding objects and conditions). It is chemically similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, producing feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception.

MDMA was initially popular in the nightclub scene and at all-night dance parties (“raves”), but the drug now affects a broader range of people who more commonly call the drug Ecstasy or Molly.

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