Two women suspected of embezzlement at Medicine Man in Cortez could face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000, they learned in Montezuma County Court on Wednesday, March 15.
Timber Higgins and Sheila Castor both face class 5 felony charges for theft between $5,000 and $20,000, Judge JenniLynn Lawrence said Wednesday. They appeared in court for an arraignment. The charge carries a prison sentence of 1-3 years and a fine between $1,000 and $100,000, as well as a mandatory two-year period of parole, Lawrence said.
The women will be due back in court on March 29 for filing of charges.
The women are suspected of stealing more than $12,000 from Medicine Man marijuana dispensary, where they both worked for about a year.
Medicine Man owners Gilbert and Sherry Garcia reported in January that they believed the two had been using military discounts to steal from the store, Cortez Police Lt. Andy Brock told The Journal in February.
Sherry Garcia told The Journal in February that Castor was hired in October 2015, and Higgins in March 2016. Garcia said that she and other employees noticed an increase of purchases entered as 15 percent military discounts.
When they looked more closely at the records, they began to suspect that Higgins and Castor were ringing up regular purchases at discount prices and pocketing the difference.
The Garcias contacted the police on Jan. 27, after they questioned and fired both employees. Higgins and Castor were issued summonses in February, because it had been too long since the incident to make an arrest, Brock said.
The Journal reporters Stephanie Alderton and Jacob Klopfenstein contributed to this report.