Former world downhill champion Myles Rockwell was arrested on Tuesday in his hometown of Durango, Colorado, on suspicion of having a “very sophisticated” marijuana-growing operation in his home, according to a press release issued by the Southwest Drug Task Force.
Rockwell, 31, was booked into the La Plata County jail on a class 4 felony after law enforcement officers seized 52 “high quality” sinsemilla plants from his Durango home. The former downhill pro, who last rode for the Giant team in 2002, was released on $10,000 bail.
Rockwell’s arrest occurred following the execution of a search warrant by the Southwest Drug Task Force along with officers from the Durango police department and La Plata County sheriff’s office. Inside Rockwell’s home investigators found a “hydroponic and fully automated indoor marijuana cultivation operation.” The seized marijuana was determined to be of extremely high quality and had an estimated street value of more than $200,000. Credit for the arrest was given to deputy Jerry Little, who discovered the operation during a “routine contact.”
In Colorado cultivation of more than an ounce of marijuana is a felony, which carries penalties ranging from two to six years in prison and a fine of $2000 to $500,000.
In an article published in the August 31, 1998 issue of VeloNews Rockwell admitted to “smoking a lot of pot” but said that after a bad crash left him with two broken legs he had stopped.
“I tried it again after getting back on my feet and I realized that was it,” Rockwell said in 1998. “I just couldn’t go back to doing that again.”
Besides winning the DH title at the 2000 world’s in Sierra Nevada, Spain, Rockwell won five NORBA downhill races and one World Cup (Kaprun, 1995) during a career that included stints with Yeti, Volvo-Cannondale and Giant. He also won the Biker X race at the 2000 Winter X Games.
In 2003 VeloNews spoke with Rockwell at the Tour of Canyonlands race in Moab, Utah, where he said that he and his girlfriend were expecting their first child and had plans to get married soon. A phone message left at Rockwell’s home after his arrest was not returned.