Thai Good Eats Owner Uses Unopened Restaurant for Illegal Operations
By Travis Phillips
After a series of unprecedented events unfolded after the last few days, it became clear to Teller County residents that nothing is what it seems, especially when it comes to developments along the area restaurant front.
Late last week, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office announced that they arrested the owner of the Woodland Park restaurant Thai Good Eats, Rick Bowers, on charges of manufacturing a schedule two controlled substance.
After searching the premises of a commercial building Bowers had been leasing in downtown Woodland Park, the sheriff’s office acted on an arrest warrant given to them by a judge and arrested Bowers at his Woodland Park home near his business. Bowers was booked into Teller County Jail with a $100,000 bond.
The investigation first came about after authorities received an anonymous tip saying that a strange, chemical smell was coming out of a closed of location next to the Thai Good Eats Pool Hall. Deputies did a stakeout of the bar for a few days until they were able to get enough evidence for a search warrant.
After searching the closed off portion of the commercial building being leased to Bowers, police found items used to cook crystal meth and about 70 pounds of crystal methamphetamine valued at $30.7 million. The authorities also found evidence that Bowers was leading a sales ring to distribute the illegal narcotics.
For the last several months, Bowers has had only one side of his restaurant business that contained a billiards hall and a small menu of Thai BBQ food was served. Bowers constantly told local residents that he was planning on opening an area with restaurant seating in the closed of section of the building.
But now that the truth has finally come out, it has been proven that Bowers was lying to residents this whole time. The area that he kept saying “will be open in a week” was actually the place where the business owner was manufacturing narcotics.
At a press conference on Friday, Teller County Sheriff Jayson McSelly applauded the efforts of his deputies and was happy that more drugs are off the streets. “I am proud to say that I have such a wonderful crew working for me that they yet again took dangerous drugs off of the streets of our beautiful county,” the sheriff said. “It is a shame that someone would have the gull to run an illegal drug operation right in plain sight like that. It is just another reminder that people need to pay attention to their surroundings and be aware at all times.”
In an interview with TMC News after his arrest, Bowers did not show remorse for his crimes or deceiving the community. “Dangit! I almost got away with it,” Bowers said.
Bowers also told TMC that his biker gang friends bonded him out within hours and that he was already making a deal with the district attorney. “I explained to the DA that I was actually making a new and improved batch of meth that had the ability to help addicts get off of the drug,” Bowers explained. “They actually believed me so I am considering a plea deal that instead of jail time I would just have to do community service in the form of hand polishing the handcuffs of every Teller County deputy, and cleaning all the wheels of their cop cars with a toothbrush.”
Bowers will see the judge for the first time during his court date on April 31. When asked about what will happen to his bar and restaurant, Bowers said, “Nothing, it will be business as usual in the pool hall and I plan to have the restaurant side open in a week.”
Happy April Fool’s Day!