New York – A top marketing executive from Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has turned himself into the authorities on Tuesday to face cocaine-possession charges, according to his lawyer. He was charged with drug possession and released after posting $4,500 in cash bail.
Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief creative and development officer, was named as one of the 18 buyers indicted as part of a drug ring last week. Crumpacker was led into the Manhattan Supreme Court courtroom handcuffed and guarded by two New York police officers, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
According to Crumpacker’s attorney, Gerald Lefcourt, the defendant was not in the city over the weekend and had to come back to turn himself in on Tuesday morning. Prosecutors stated that authorities caught Crumpacker on a wiretap 13 times having drugs delivered to his Union Square apartment.
The most recent drug acquisition from the defendant was allegedly on June 18. The Chipotle executive bought nearly $3,000 in cocaine during those personal deliveries, prosecutors stated during the court appearance.
Crumpacker was arraigned on seven counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a misdemeanor, set to be discussed at the next court date on September 8. During Tuesday’s court appearance, it was not required for him to enter a plea, it remains unknown how would he declare himself.
After the brief hearing, neither Lefcourt nor Crumpacker made any further comments about the strategy or the trial or the possible defense the client could have. Lefcourt only stated that they, his client and himself, were going to “deal with the case in the courtroom.”
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) June 30, 2016
The charges do not involve Chipotle itself, but the restaurant chain decided to put Crumpacker on administrative leave. According to the indictment, the defendant bought cocaine on multiple dates between January 29 and May 14, when the company was trying to manage an E. coli outbreak as well as other subsequent food scares, as reported by Philly.
“We made this decision in order to remain focused on the operation of our business and to allow Mark to focus on these personal matters. Mark’s responsibilities have been assigned to other senior managers in his absence,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold announced last week.
Crumpacker earned a pay package of $4.3 million last year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The chain’s sales dropped about 30 percent in the first quarter of the year, due to the multiple problems the company has been having.
Efforts have been made by the company to try to earn their clients back after the multiple food-contamination scares, such as coupons for free burritos, a summertime loyalty program and plans to introduce chorizo as a new topping. The main character in those efforts was Crumpacker, and it remains unknown whether he will remain to be in the future.
— Henry Blodget (@hblodget) June 30, 2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal