Police Bust Illegal Drug Operation In Colorado Springs

Man, Woman Accused Of Running Fake Medical Marijuana Dispensary

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A couple who lived together and operated an illegal medical marijuana business is in jail, Colorado Springs police said on Tuesday, and two more suspects likely will be arrested.

Court records show that Peter Mattaroo and Kristine Bauer, both 28, were arrested last Wednesday and charged with illegally possessing, distributing and cultivating marijuana and other drugs. The couple lived at the Dove Tree Apartments near Platte Avenue and Murray Boulevard, police said, and ran the business from the same location.

Krista Archuleta, a neighbor, believes she met Bauer before her arrest.

"The lady from upstairs had come down and told us that her apartment had been broken into and that she's being set up," Archuleta said.

According to court records, the defendants installed security cameras and hired a guard after a burglary at the business. Police said they also raided a second unspecified location where the marijuana was grown. Seized in the raid, police said, were nearly $3,500 in cash, marijuana, cocaine, psychedelic mushrooms, prescription pills, 27 guns and a bulletproof vest.

"It makes you wonder what they (guns) were going to be used for," said police spokeswoman Barbara Miller. "One traffic stop ended up in maybe stopping several violent crimes in our community."

Police said an informant tipped them off to the operation last Tuesday, and officers began staking out the business the next day. They said their suspicious were confirmed after seeing five transactions made in a three-hour period, and apprehending three teens who had driven away from the business after buying marijuana.

Police decided to raid the business immediately before one of the informants alerted the defendants to the stakeout.

The operation was conducted in a bedroom and used a cash register, credit card machine, safe and display case for marijuana and paraphernalia, police said.

Bond for each defendant is set at $50,000. They're scheduled to appear in court next week.

The investigation is being conducted by the police Metro Vice and Narcotics Unit and the community impact team called COMMIT, which focuses on gangs and guns. Police still are seeking information about the case, and ask anyone who can help to call 719-444-7000.

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