Medical marijuana among the booty in home invasion

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Reports about medical marijuana-related crime are on the rise.

Note our interview with Lt. Jerry Schiager, commander of the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force, who cited "at least five armed robberies, seven burglaries and one kidnapping" related to marijuana in the Fort Collins area over the past year and a half or so -- "and those are only the ones we know about."

And that's not to mention a break-in at Green Tree Medical in Lakewood, during which two burglars were videotaped making off with about $10,000 in cash and the dispensary's entire stock.

The latest? The Denver District Attorney's Office has charged Joseph Butkovich with numerous counts, including aggravated robbery of a controlled substance, for a November home invasion robbery whose haul included medical marijuana. No word as to whether the medical marijuana was the primary target in the incident, but in this environment, such a prospect is very real. Get more details below:

MAN CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH HOME INVASION

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has formally charged a man in connection with a home invasion robbery that took place in the 2900 block of East 14th Avenue last month.

Joseph Butkovich (dob: 05-10-86) is charged with first-degree burglary (F2), aggravated robbery of a controlled substance (F2) and theft (F4).

On the evening of November 9, 2009, Denver Police officers responded to the 2900 block of East 14th Avenue on a report of home invasion robbery. The charges allege that Butkovich forced his way into the 24-year-old victim's home with a gun, tied him up with duct tape, and stole the victim's medical marijuana, lap top computer and other items.

Butkovich remains in custody at the Denver County Jail; his bond is set at $250,000. He is scheduled to appear in Denver County Courtroom 472W at 1:30 on December 10, 2009 to be formally advised of the charges.

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