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Loveland smoke shop owner arrested after locations closed following public health order violations

Posted at 6:11 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 20:11:04-04

DENVER – A Loveland man was arrested Friday after he showed up at one of the “One Love” smoke shops he owns against the orders of police who were shutting down his businesses for multiple violations of the state public health order that closed non-essential businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jonah Ricke, 32, was booked into the Larimer County jail for investigation on three misdemeanor counts: unlawful acts public health act, obstructing government operations and resisting arrest.

According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and police from Loveland and Fort Collins executed a judge’s order to close the two locations – one at 700 S. College Ave., Unit B, in Fort Collins and the other at 2818 W. Eisenhower Blvd. in Loveland – over those locations’ failure to comply with the state public health order on four occasions over the past month.

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment asked a district court judge to allow law enforcement to force the businesses to close. The sheriff’s office said the health department “received multiple complaints from citizens and other businesses regarding the One Love stores remaining open.”

The sheriff’s office said deputies and officers went to both locations at the same time Friday afternoon and that the employees at the stores were compliant and cooperative.

Ricke was told over the phone that the orders from the court were being enforced and came to the store against the wishes of law enforcement, the sheriff’s office said.

“Once at the store Ricke refused to obey lawful commands from law enforcement to not enter the business and was arrested,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Ricke’s bond had not been set as of Friday afternoon.