BRUSH, Colo. (CBS4) – An eastern Colorado sheriff sounded off against drug trafficking following a drug-related accident in his county.

Morgan County Sheriff Jim Crone wrote in a department news letter released Friday that “legalization will NEVER stop the drug trafficking organizations here.”

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Sheriff Crone commented after a collision between Hyundai Santa Fe carrying 150 pounds of marijuana and a grain-hauling semi outside the Pinneo Feedlot. The crash occurred Dec. 13th near the feedlot facility on Highway 34 east of Brush.

(credit: Morgan County Sheriff’s Office)

(credit: Morgan County Sheriff’s Office)

“I am not exaggerating when I say drugs drive what our local law enforcement do…EVERY…DAY…365 DAYS A YEAR,” Sheriff Crone wrote. “Legalization will NOT stop the crimes committed by users who have no jobs to support their habits and prey upon you and I to get that money for their hit/fix.”

(credit: Morgan County Sheriff’s Office)

An article in the Fort Morgan Times described the Hyundai driver as Ha Xiong, 37, of Fresno, California. Xiong was airlifted to Northern Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, according to the story.

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The 19-year-old driver of the feedlot semi was uninjured.

(credit: Morgan County Sheriff’s Office)


The afternoon of December 13th, the sheriff’s office responded to a head-on crash east of the Pinneo Feedlot on Hwy 34. Turns out the driver of the SUV was DUI-Drugs and hit a loaded tractor-trailer rig, nearly head-on. He survived the crash and fortunately did not injure the young man driving the truck.
However many motorists on this stretch of highway, especially truckers delivering our food, medicines, and other vital needs (not to mention our Christmas gifts!), were left sitting on the highway for a few hours until the documentation of the scene could be completed and scoop shovels full of car parts and debris (along with gallons of diesel fuel and other vehicle fluids), could be cleaned up. Oh, and not to mention the SUV was found to have 150+ pounds of marijuana on board.

It’s safe to say there are “loads” of weed, marijuana concentrate, meth, cocaine and heroin, like this, going through our county EVERY DAY, if not several times per day! And while marijuana may very well have medicinal purposes, it’s not just the drug that makes our controlled substances dangerous and a significant crime and socio-economic issue in our country. The people involved in the illegal operations where drugs (including marijuana) are grown/produced, trafficked and transported, distributed to the TENS of THOUSANDS of dealers and MILLIONS of customers, are NOT good people! THOUSANDS of people are viciously murdered in Mexico every year as organizations vie for control over the markets and territory. And since we don’t put a “drug-related” tag on homicides and serious assaults, I would make a SWAG that there are THOUSANDS of directly drug-related homicides in the United States of America…EVERY…YEAR. Not to mention the tens of thousands of non-fatal assaults, MILLIONS of property crimes – burglaries, thefts, car break-ins, forgeries, credit card and other frauds, etc, etc, etc (and those a crime #’s, not the $ value, which is exponentially higher). Legalization will NEVER stop the drug trafficking organizations here who rake in tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars (billions internationally) every year. Legalization will NOT stop the crimes committed by users who have no jobs to support their habits and prey upon you and I to get that money for their hit/fix. And who will pay for the medical costs of treatment and hospitalizations for the diseases and conditions caused by the use of these substances? I would venture 90-95% of users who need urgent or chronic medical care due to the direct usage of the drug (not to mention costs associated with the violence, accidents, suicides or other situations caused by those decisions), have NO insurance. Which means you and I who do, will pick up the tab for the bills in the thousands of dollars for a simple visit to the ER when our kids need stitches or breaks an arm while playing. Oh, and property and car insurance. The DUI driver in this scenario didn’t own the car. Sure insurance will cover the cost. But we as the consumer will pay for that too. We think we pay less costs at Wal-Mart and other “big-box” stores. Think of how much more we would save in EVERY retail store we shopped at, if the prices did not reflect the TENS (if not HUNDREDS) of THOUSANDS of dollars EVERY YEAR due to shoplifting and fraud. Think of how much lower our credit card, personal loan, car and mortgage interest rates would be if financial institutions did not have to cover the MILLIONS (if not BILLIONS) of dollars in losses every year??? It just goes on and on. This is just one little daily blip of what goes on in our little county EVERY DAY. I am not exaggerating when I say drugs drive what our local law enforcement do…EVERY…DAY…365 DAYS A YEAR. On another note, also related to drugs, earlier this week our deputies assisted another agency who requested assistance with a combative subject during a medical call. Before use of a Taser to stop him from fighting, this male subject punched one officer in the jaw, bit another on the leg, as well as kicked or hit both of the medics trying to help him. Suspected methamphetamine was found on his person when he was taken to jail, after he was examined by medical personnel at an emergency room.

In the same newsletter, Crone announced his current term as sheriff — his fifth — will be his last. Sheriff Crone has held the position since 1999.

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