Many of the students weren’t even aware it was occurring, but Monday (August 30) afternoon officials at Lyons Elementary and Lyons Middle/Senior High
School instigated a “soft” lockdown at the schools, because of a police action that was being conducted in the Riverside/Raymond area. According to a Boulder County Sheriff’s press release, SWAT teams from Boulder County, Larimer County, and Longmont, acting on a tip from some hikers, were searching for a “heavily armed” suspect who may have been conducting a marijuana grow operation on Forest Service land in the area west of Lyons.
About two dozens officers were involved in the operation. The Boulder County Drug Task Force asked for helicopter assistance from the Air National Guard, but that request was denied because of high winds and unsafe flying conditions. A private helicopter service out of Longmont was later called in to assist in the investigation. The suspect who fled the area was described as an Hispanic male, 5-feet 6-inches tall, approximately 150 pounds, and he was believed to be armed.
A little after noon, local school officials were advised by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office as to what was transpiring. A few minutes later, the doors to the building were locked; nobody was allowed to enter the building, and the students were not allowed to go outside for lunch or recess. A call went out to parents advising them of what was taking place, and at approximately 2:20 p.m., just a few minutes before the regular end of classes, the “soft” lockdown was lifted, and students were released for the day.
On Tuesday morning, the Lyons Substation was still abuzz with activity as the Drug Task Force, SWAT Team, and Boulder County Sheriff’s Deputies continued to investigate the crime scene. Sgt. Mike Dimond said that evidence (camping equipment, sleeping bags, etc.) at the site indicated that there could have been as many as four or five people working the grow operation. He added that at this point, no weapons have been found. The site was about an acre in size, with upwards of 3,500 plants. Another Drug Task Force officer indicated that, “A second grow operation, as big or bigger, was spotted just over the ridge from the first, by the helicopter crew.” Dimond said that K-9 teams had been brought in to see if they could track the growers, and that teams on ATVs would continue to comb the rugged terrain hunting for the perpetrators.
The Sheriff’s Office is investigating these incidents and would request anyone with any information contact the Boulder County Drug Task Force at (303) 441-1690 or they may contact Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or through www.nococrimestoppers.comwhere they can send an anonymous e-mail or text message. Tips may be eligible for a cash reward.