Chipotle exec surrenders after being charged with cocaine possession

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 05, 2016 3:44 PM

(Reuters) - A top Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc executive surrendered to New York police on Tuesday and was arraigned on charges of possession of cocaine, authorities said.

A grand jury last week indicted three accused drug sellers, and 18 accused customers, including the Chipotle executive, Mark Crumpacker, after an investigation into Manhattan drug trafficking.

Crumpacker, 53, is the company's chief creative and development officer and played a key role in rebuilding Chipotle's sales after a string of food-safety lapses last year.

Chipotle put Crumpacker on a leave of absence last week "immediately upon learning of these allegations," spokesman Chris Arnold said. Crumpacker's attorney declined to comment.

Chipotle hired Crumpacker, who lives in New York City, in 2009. He spearheaded food giveaways and other efforts to lure back diners after the once high-flying burrito chain was linked to outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella and norovirus in 2015.

Crumpacker was charged with seven counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a class A misdemeanor.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein and Tim Reid in Los Angeles; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)