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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

And the West is History: Granny’s Cycle Shop Explosion and Fire Aftermath – 1980

On June 27, 1980, Durango Fire personnel were conducting a routine fire inspection of the office of 53-year-old Dr. Kenneth Wilson at 2323 West Second Avenue. They discovered $150,000 worth of marijuana, cocaine and Valium in the basement. Wilson was arrested. Before his court date, his other business, Granny’s Cycle Shop, was destroyed by an explosion and fire on July 28. It was ruled arson, with Wilson the prime suspect. He eluded the police for the next 22 months, but was finally arrested in Albuquerque in May 1982. He was tried for arson and found guilty in April 1983. The previous drug charges were dropped because the search was deemed illegal. Wilson was sentenced to two years in prison. That could have been the end of his legal troubles, but that was not to be the case. He was arrested again in 1988 and charged with having more than 3,000 marijuana plants in grow operations at his original dentist office and home in Silverton. He was found guilty and sentenced to 12 years in prison. This picture shows the damage to Granny’s. It was located at 1155 Main Avenue. The Bank of Colorado now sits on the site. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org(Catalog Number: 04.05.170 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)