Missoula medical marijuana proponent Rosio wanted for alleged $2K bad check

2011-08-13T06:15:00Z 2011-08-13T06:35:39Z Missoula medical marijuana proponent Rosio wanted for alleged $2K bad checkBy GWEN FLORIO of the Missoulian missoulian.com
August 13, 2011 6:15 am  • 

Where in the world is Rick Rosio?

The Missoula County Attorney's Office wants to know, to the tune of $10,000.

That's the amount on the bench warrant filed late Friday afternoon against the outspoken medical marijuana proponent.

Rosio is accused of passing a $2,000 bad check, a felony. He was supposed to appear in Missoula County Justice Court on that charge Friday, but never showed.

County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg "is under the impression he's left the state," Deputy County Attorney Patricia Bower told Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech Friday.

The check, drawn on a Montana First Credit Union account, was made out to Lynne Nelson, the landlord for the medical marijuana dispensary Rosio ran on South Third Street West.

Nelson said Friday that Rosio was a problem tenant from the start, routinely requiring the attention of a collection agency before he coughed up his $2,000 monthly rent.

"He has no honor, he has no scruples, he has no morals," said Nelson, who owns a nearby temporary employment agency.

She said she went to the County Attorney's Office when Rosio's final check, issued in December 2010, bounced.

By then, Rosio's Montana Pain Management dispensary - which had been searched several weeks earlier on a warrant alleging illegal drug sales - had closed, she said.

"They left in the middle of the night," she said.

By spring, Rosio was involved with a business called CAPS MT (Cannabis Advocacy Patient Services of Montana). A call to that number Friday yielded a recording that its dispensary, Green Door Wellness, is temporarily closed, as are most medical marijuana businesses in Montana during court wrangling over legislative reforms to the state law that legalized medical marijuana.

For a while, Rosio was one of the most visible and vocal advocates of medical marijuana, proclaiming himself a humanitarian who often provided his product to critically ill patients for free.

But he also found himself at odds with some of his one-time business partners and is embroiled in legal actions filed by Jason Christ, another high-profile medical marijuana advocate, and a grow operation known as Delphia Holdings Corp., which accused MPM of illegally transferring funds.

Earlier this year, the state Department of Labor and Industry also went after Rosio for nearly $3,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties.

Bower said Friday that the County Attorney's Office attempted to hand deliver papers to Rosio, but that he couldn't be located. A letter sent to his mailing address was returned as "Box closed; unable to forward," according to court documents.

The maximum penalty for issuing bad checks is 10 years in the Montana State Prison and/or a $50,000 fine.

Reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, gwen.florio@missoulian.com or on CopsAndCourts.com.

 

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