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‘Black market marijuana,’ cash found in slain student’s room

Police also recover suspected cocaine from suspects’ vehicles

Police recovered 9.1 pounds of processed marijuana and a little more than $20,000 cash from the room of Samuel Gordon, the Fort Lewis College student who was shot and killed early Tuesday during a home invasion.

The marijuana was in plastic bags and glass jars, and all the packaging was marked with product information, according to a news release issued Thursday by the Durango Police Department.

“It is obvious from the packaging and through interviews that this is black market marijuana, and it was being illegally distributed,” the release says.

Police are confident the marijuana belonged to Gordon, said Lt. Ray Shupe, spokesman with the Durango Police Department. “All of it was located in his room, and interviews we’ve done with other folks all indicate it was his marijuana.”

Police also found live plants in the house and a cultivation site in the basement, where nothing was growing. It is possible Gordon harvested what had been growing in the basement, Shupe said.

Detectives also seized 5.5 grams of a white powdery substance from two vehicles associated with the suspects, which has presumptively tested positive for cocaine. The substance will be sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s laboratory for positive identification and analysis.

Police said the cocaine was found in three Baggies in two different vehicles. It appears it was for personal use as opposed to distribution, Shupe said.

“The fact that it was split up the way it was, I’m guessing it was for personal use between the four of them,” Shupe said.

Gordon was shot about 3:45 a.m. Tuesday at 253 Jenkins Ranch Road in the SkyRidge subdivision in Durango. Three armed men wearing bandanas over their faces entered the house through a back patio door and used zip ties to restrain some residents.

During the robbery, one of the suspects fired a single gunshot, hitting Gordon in the abdomen. He died later that morning at Mercy Regional Medical Center.

Four men were arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder: Kodi “Maz” E. Kuauhtli, 19, of Phoenix; Alvin Noel Flores, 22, of Phoenix; Daniel Nelson Wright, 20, of Phoenix; and Kuauhtleko Garcia, 21, of Scottsdale, Arizona.

In an interview with police, Kuauhtli said he knew Gordon had marijuana and devised a plan to have his three friends from the Phoenix area come to Durango to participate in the robbery.

Anyone with information related to the suspects or the homicide is asked to call a tip line at 382-5029.

shane@durangoherald.com

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