The ringleaders of a ” ” that threatened dozens of elected officials and judges across the state — including Boulder County‘s sheriff, district attorney and county commissioners — have received prison sentences in their cases.
A total of eight people — Brian Baylog, Janis Blease, Steven Byfield, David Coffelt, Bruce Doucette, Laurence Goodman, Stephen Nalty and Harlan Smith — were indicted last April on counts including violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, attempting to influence a public servant, extortion, retaliation against a judge, criminal impersonation, failure to pay taxes and offering a false instrument for recording.
A ninth defendant, Steven Curry, was charged in a later indictment and added to the case.
Doucette and Nalty — who First Assistant Attorney General Robert Shapiro said were the “interchangeable leaders of the criminal enterprise,” were each convicted at trial on all counts. Doucette was sentenced to 38 years in prison while Nalty was sentenced to 36 years in prison.
“This group was brought to our attention because of the true threats they were lodging against people who were just doing their jobs,” Shapiro said. “The detrimental impact that the defendants‘ calculated efforts were at times debilitating.”
Byfield, the only other defendant to go to trial, was also convicted and given 22 years in prison after a judge deemed he was “less involved,” than Doucette and Nalty.
Three of the other defendants in the case took plea deals and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and testify in exchange for lesser sentences.
Baylog received 10 years in prison, Blease received a four-year deferred sentence, and Coffelt is still awaiting sentencing in September.
Goodman was scheduled for trial several times in 2018, but his case has been delayed while he undergoes a competency evaluation, Shapiro said. Curry, who was arrested in New Mexico, is still there as prosecutors try to resolve charges he picked up while in that state.
According to the original indictment the defendants were “part of a long-term scheme and endeavor to initially attempt to influence various Colorado-based public servants… who in their legal capacities had responsibilities related to a legal matter which involved a member of this enterprise.”
The indictment said that when cases involving one of the defendants did not go his or her way, other members would “engage in a methodical series of actions and statements specifically targeting the… public servants who had a designated role of some form” in that person‘s case.
The officials ed by the defendants and named as victims in the case are from several jurisdictions across Colorado, including Boulder, Denver, Jefferson, Pueblo and Gilpin counties.
The Boulder County officials who were named as victims include Sheriff Joe Pelle, former District Attorney Stan Garnett, Judge Karolyn Moore and all three county commissioners.
The group appears to follow the doctrine of the sovereign citizen‘s movement. That movement holds that people are only answerable to common law and that the U.S government is illegitimate.
“There are appropriate ways for members to citizens to voice their displeasure with government,” Shapiro said. “But using unprotected actions and conduct constituting criminal behavior will be investigated and prosecuted.”