~ by Trevor Phipps ~
Last November, Teller County was shocked when it hit local news sources that John Fifield, Jr. had been arrested for selling marijuana that was laced with methamphetamine to middle school students.
Prosecutors in the controversial case have now scored their first major victory in their effort to put the former Teller resident behind bars for his alleged actions.
According to a press release sent out by United States Attorney Jason Dunn last week, a grand jury indicted Fifield on federal charges relating to the distribution of drugs to minors. Fifield has pled not guilty to the charges, setting up the scenario for a trial.
It all started on Nov. 15, 2018 when a school resource officer at the Woodland Park Middle School found a student in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Once the officer tested the drugs he was stunned when he found out that the marijuana was laced with crystal methamphetamine.
After interviewing the student he determined that a handful of students had possibly come into contact with the laced weed. Further investigations and interviews pointed the finger at Fifield who lived in the Turkey Rock subdivision located north of Woodland Park in Douglas County. Fifield allegedly had a step-daughter that attended Woodland Park Middle School whom he supposedly distributed the laced drugs to.
Once the details of the case were discovered the school resource officer turned the case over to the newly formed Teller County Narcotics team or TNT to investigate further. The narcotics team ran further tests on the drugs and proved that it was indeed marijuana coated in meth. On Nov. 18, 2018 TNT gathered enough evidence to get an arrest warrant to bring Fifield into custody. He was originally arrested on charges of distributing illegal drugs to minors and child abuse.
According to Dunn’s press release, Fifield was charged by Criminal Complaint on Jan. 18, 2019. On Feb. 8, a grand jury indicted Fifield on federal charges and he attended his court date and heard all of the charges brought against him. On Feb. 9, Fifield was arraigned on the charges and he entered a plea of not guilty. The suspect has since been released from jail on a $25,000 unsecured bond with home detention.
“In a case like this involving young children, we will aggressively pursue federal charges and mandatory minimum sentencing every time,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.
The incident came during a time last year when Teller County law enforcement agencies were cracking down on illegal marijuana grow operations. TNT was formed to help local law enforcement agencies battle illegal drug activity in the county. The arrest of Fifield last November was the team’s first arrest since it joined forces with the DEA and other law enforcement agencies last year. The case is still pending with the DEA and TNT leading the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Winslow handling the prosecution.
“The nature of this investigation is very disturbing for the youth of our Country. The DEA is committed to protecting our children from the cycle of drug abuse,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge William McDermott