A medical-marijuana provider with a previous conviction for murder was sentenced to nearly 10 years in federal prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to shooting off guns from a car.
Stylios Alton Trachanas, formerly of Longmont, pleaded guilty to two weapons-possession charges plus a drug-possession charge. Trachanas, who cannot possess a firearm because of his previous conviction, was indicted in October.
Authorities began investigating Trachanas in April 2011, after residents in the Vermillion Road area in rural Boulder County reported seeing somebody shooting guns from a car, according to his plea agreement. One resident got a license plate number, which detectives followed back to Trachanas’ house.
After obtaining a warrant, authorities found multiple guns, including one called a Street Sweeper, a machine gun that shoots shotgun shells. They also found the two handguns Trachanas admitted in his plea deal to shooting from the car.
Authorities also found about 50 marijuana plants growing in Trachanas’s house. Trachanas had paperwork showing that he was the registered caregiver — a personalized medical-marijuana provider — to nine patients. Current Colorado law limits caregivers to serving no more than five patients unless they get special approval for more.
“The defendant, a convicted felon, endangered his family and his community by illegally possessing an extremely dangerous weapon, and by operating an illegal marijuana grow in a small, enclosed space,” Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh said Tuesday in a statement. “It is clear that this lengthy prison sentence will protect the public for years to come.”
Trachanas was convicted in Texas in 1992 for first-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to court filings in his federal case. Trachanas argued that the shooting, which took place in 1988, was in self-defense, according to a filing.
In the same filing, Trachanas’ lawyer says his client thought he was able to possess firearms, despite his murder conviction. His attorney says Trachanas was supporting his wife and two young children by his medical-marijuana caregiver work.
“Mr. Trachanas is extremely remorseful for his involvement in this offense, as well as past conduct,” the filing states.
U.S. District Court Judge Brooke Jackson sentenced Trachanas to 110 months in prison, followed by six years of supervised release.
In a statement, the boss of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives office in Denver said the case is a good example of local and federal investigators working together.
“ATF will not tolerate convicted felons threatening our communities by recklessly putting the citizens of Colorado in danger,” Special Agent in Charge Andrew Traver said.