Monday, December 5 2022

Following a Denver Police Department investigation that began in January 2021 and ended in April of this year, the Denver Excise and Licensing Department is seeking the suspension or revocation of driver’s licenses. liquor from Sancho’s Broken Arrow and So Many Roads Brewery on a number of allegations. , including dealing cocaine by a staff member and selling alcohol to minors.

On May 23, Molly Duplechian, General Manager of Excise and Licensing, issued the order to vindicate Sancho’s Broken Arrow, a Don Quixote-themed venue at 741 East Colfax Avenue, and So Many Roads Brewery , at 918 West First Ave.

Both music and liquor joints were once owned by promoter and Grateful Deadhead Jay Bianchi, who in 2020 transferred his stake so that Tyler Bishop owned two-thirds and Timothy Premus owned one-third; Bishop also took over as sole proprietor of So Many Roads Brewery. Bianchi said he was retiring as a music promoter in the summer of 2021, as he faced sexual assault allegations, which he denied, and union complaints over fair pay .

The investigation into Sancho’s and So Many Roads began after the DPD received an anonymous tip that Sancho’s employees were selling dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a Schedule 1 drug, and cocaine, a Annex II.

In February 2021, the Denver Police Department sent two undercover, undercover vice cops—Officer Sierra Kenoyer and Detective Michael James—to Sancho’s Broken Arrow to investigate and potentially make an undercover drug purchase. The two officers were unable to buy drugs the first night they went to Sancho’s house, but they observed a bartender engage in what appeared to be a ‘hand-to-hand narcotics transaction’ with Bishop, according to the Excise and Licenses show-cause order for Sancho.

Kenoyer and another colleague, Officer Jessica Delarow, visited Sancho later that month, when they reportedly chatted with the same bartender about how he makes homemade DMT; Kenoyer returned in early March to try to buy DMT from the bartender, who informed him he was away.

On September 23, 2021, two Denver vice officers, who are listed only by their surnames Streeter and Esparza in order of warrant, visited So Many Roads with the intent of purchasing drugs. While at the scene, the two undercover officers met Steve Ackermann, who works at both sites in maintenance, security and stage setup. According to the show cause order, Ackermann arranged to sell cocaine to the two officers later that evening at Sancho’s Broken Arrow.

When the two officers showed up at Sancho’s, they reportedly followed Ackermann into the men’s restroom, where they observed Ackermann and another staff member ingest cocaine. Cops gave Ackermann $100 in exchange for a bag filled with a white powdery substance, which later tested positive for cocaine, weighing 0.843 grams, according to the city.

A week later, officers returned to Sancho’s Broken Arrow to conduct another undercover purchase operation. Ackermann told officers he had worked “unofficially” for Jay Bianchi since 2011.

“Ackermann said Jay knew he was selling narcotics there and that Jay was getting high on them all the time. Ackermann said an exchange of payment was happening between Ackermann and Jay through a “hippie tax “. Ackermann described the hippie tax by stating that Ackermann brings business to Jay’s bar, brings more people who often buy drinks, and when Jay catches Ackermann selling narcotics, Ackermann will give Jay all the money. money Ackermann made from that sale. or told Ackermann to stop selling at any of the bars Jay owns,” the show cause order reads. Officers allegedly purchased 0.427 grams of cocaine that evening from Ackermann.

On November 6, 2021, Officer Esparza showed up at Sancho’s house with Officer Brayan Silva. The two then purchased 0.733 grams of cocaine, according to city documents.

On November 17, Officer Streeter entered Sancho’s Broken Arrow undercover and arrested Ackermann. A search of excise and licensing records did not find Ackermann registered as a security guard, nor does Sancho’s broken arrow appear as “already licensed as an employer.” ‘security agent”.

In December 2021, Denver police officers questioned Ackermann, who denied selling narcotics. Ackermann did not return a request for comment sent to his personal Facebook account.

“I’m not involved,” Bianchi says. “My brother died of narcotics, I don’t like narcotics, I don’t condone or condone their use. I vehemently oppose it. Looks like it’s an Ackerman problem trying to find a goatee emissary. I visit Sancho as a client.”

Click to enlarge

So Many Roads is facing its first licensing complaint.

Kyle Harris

In February and March of this year, Denver cops conducted two undercover stings to see if Sancho would sell alcohol to a minor; in both cases, the underage person was able to purchase alcohol. DPD officers carried out the same operation twice at So Many Roads in March and April. And again in March, Denver police officers carried out another drug-related sting operation, apparently buying 0.941 grams from Ackermann for $100.

While So Many Roads has never had a licensing issue before, Sancho’s Broken Arrow has. In 2019, the Department of Excise and Licensing reported the venue for employing an unlicensed security guard and serving alcohol to a minor. In March 2020, Sancho’s Broken Arrow was also nailed by the city for allowing people to drink and smoke pot in the venue, despite strict COVID-19 restrictions at the time that prohibited such gatherings.

In January this year, Sancho was the subject of a complaint for employing an unlicensed security guard, who was also allegedly in possession of a taser. This same quote faulted Sancho for not offering sandwiches or snacks during office hours, which is a requirement for a place with a tavern liquor license.

According to today’s show cause hearings, which will be tried in a single administrative hearing on June 21, Sancho’s faces citations for four counts of cocaine trafficking, two counts relating to a unauthorized security guard and two counts of underage consumption of alcohol, as well as three counts related to the conduct of an establishment, including allowing the use of marijuana on the premises. So Many Roads faces charges of trafficking cocaine, selling alcohol to a minor and allowing unlawful acts on property.

Bishop and Premus did not respond to messages sent to their personal Facebook accounts, or to a message left for a staff member at Sancho’s Broken Arrow.

Update: This story was updated at 5 p.m. May 22 to include a comment from Jay Bianchi.


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