U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Colorado
District of Colorado
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
John F. Walsh, United States Attorney
Boulder County Medical Marijuana Care Giver with Conviction for First Degree Murder Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possession of an Illegal Gun and Marijuana Distribution Charges
DENVER –Stylios Alton Trachanas, age 41, formerly of Boulder County, Colorado, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Brooke Jackson to serve 110 months (over 9 years) in federal prison for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession of a destructive device, the Department of Justice announced today. Trachanas was a marijuana care giver under Colorado state law to at least nine patients at the time of his crime. After serving his prison sentence, the defendant was then ordered to serve 6 years on supervised release. Trachanas appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded at the conclusion.
Trachanas was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on October 20, 2011. He pled guilty to the charges listed above on March 23, 2012. He was sentenced on July 9, 2012.
During the sentencing hearing it was revealed that Trachanas, a Colorado licensed medical marijuana care giver, had three prior felony convictions, including one for first degree murder. It was further revealed that he was growing marijuana in his duplex where he, his pregnant wife, and their young children resided. Lastly, Trachanas possessed and used one of the most rare and dangerous weapons manufactured, a Street Sweeper, according to the ATF.
According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on April 15, 2011, in an area around Vermillion Road, in Boulder County, several witnesses heard a large amount of gunfire. One witness was able to obtain a license plate number from the automobile driven by the shooter. The Boulder County Sheriff's Office began an investigation into the shots being fired. They went to the residence of the person who owned the car identified by one of the witnesses. As officers approached the residence, they could smell the strong odor of marijuana. Based on the odor of marijuana, the officers obtained a search warrant for the residence.
Sheriff's Deputies searched the residence. During the search they located between 50 and 100 marijuana plants in the basement. They also found all the required equipment to have an indoor marijuana grow which would enable the residents to be able to distribute marijuana. Further, they found 46 ounces of dried marijuana, as well as paperwork that tied the defendant to being a care giver under Colorado state law to at least nine patients.
In addition to locating the marijuana grow, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office located weapons in the garage of the residence, including a Street Sweeper 12 gauge shotgun, a M12 .380 caliber pistol with a suppressor and a 9mm caliber pistol. They also found assorted rounds of ammunition. Forensic analysis matched the shell casings from the shooting with the defendant's firearms. Sheriff's deputies and ATF agents also determined that the defendant was prohibited from possessing these weapons. Specifically, Trachanas has three convictions out of Harris County Texas. One for first degree murder, one for obtaining a controlled substance by telephone, and one for unlawfully and intentionally possessing a controlled substance, namely cocaine.
"The defendant, a convicted felon, endangered his family and his community by illegally possessing an extremely dangerous weapon, and by operating an illegal marijuana grow in a small, enclosed space," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "It is clear that this lengthy prison sentence will protect the public for years to come."
"ATF will not tolerate convicted felons threatening our communities by recklessly putting the citizens of Colorado in danger," said Andrew Traver, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF, Denver Field Division. "We will continue with the mission of ATF by combining our resources with our state and local partners in the fight against violent crime."
This case was investigated by the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, the ATF, and the U.S. Marshals Service.
The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremy Sibert and Richard Hosley.