A senior Chipotle executive has been arrested and charged with seven counts of cocaine position.
Chipotle Chief Marketing and Development Officer Mark Crumpacker was one of 18 “repeat customers” charged last week with allegedly buying cocaine from a drug-delivery service that operated out of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
The Associated Press reports that Crumpacker, who has been placed on administrative leave, was arrested at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
A recent story by Bloomberg suggests that Crumpacker’s alleged drug possession could have been a result of stress over the company’s E. coli crisis and plummeting sales.
“Crumpacker’s alleged drug purchases coincide with some of the company’s worst days of 2016, with Chipotle struggling to bounce back from a string of E.coli and norovirus outbreaks,” write’s Bloomberg’s Chris Dolmetsch, citing prosecutors. “Crumpacker…led the marketing effort to restore the company’s image.”
All of the alleged buyers were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to indictment papers obtained by Business Insider last week.
Many of the defendants’ names were redacted from the documents, including Crumpacker’s.
In an emailed statement, Chipotle told Business Insider why it decided to place Crumpacker on leave:
“At the moment, we know very little about these charges. Due to the nature of the situation, Mark has been placed on administrative leave. 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.”
The Manhattan district attorney’s office charged three people for allegedly operating the cocaine-trafficking ring: Kenny Hernandez, 35, Felix Nunez, 27, and Oscar Almonte, 29.
They are accused of selling more than $75,000 worth of cocaine over the course of a year, according to the charging documents.
Customers regularly paid between $200 and $300 for the delivery service, and bought the drugs in bodegas, hotels, and Duane Reade convenience stores, according to the indictment papers.
According to the Manhattan district attorney’s office:
“Members of the ring allegedly used car services to deliver the drugs to buyers, including to delis, restaurants, bars, apartments, hotels, and the buyers’ workplaces. The defendants delivered to locations across Manhattan, including the Lower East Side, the Upper East Side, Chelsea, the Financial District, and Midtown, as well as areas of Brooklyn and Queens. Many of the sales took place in delis or Duane Reade and CVS pharmacies. Customers generally paid between $200 and $300 per transaction.”
The New York Daily News first reported on the drug bust.
Crumpacker, 52, was named chief marketing officer of Chipotle in 2009.
He made an estimated $4.3 million in 2015.
In addition to his roles at Chipotle, Crumpacker serves as president of the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, a charitable foundation established by Chipotle in 2011. Crumpacker also serves on the board of directors of the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.
Before joining Chipotle, Crumpacker cofounded a San Francisco-based branding firm called Sequence. He worked there from 2002 to 2008.
Here are the indictment documents.
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