Samantha Simmons (provided photo)

Second person pleads guilty in connection with 2015 Colorado marijuana-smuggling deaths

A second person pleaded guilty Wednesday in connection with a 2015 double killing that Weld prosecutors say was tied to an ill-fated marijuana-smuggling operation.

Samantha Simmons (provided photo)

Samantha Simmons, 27, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to a crime in a plea deal in which she will cooperate with prosecutors and testify. Weld District Court Judge Thomas Quammen also dismissed the 10 charges she initially faced, including first-degree murder.

Simmons was one of five people arrested in connection with the deaths of Joshua Foster and Zachary Moore, both from Oklahoma. In the early hours of Oct. 18, 2015, Weld Sheriff’s deputies discovered their bodies in the cab of a pickup engulfed in flame, about 15 miles northeast of Pierce. The investigation into those deaths also resulted in the arrests of Samuel Pinney, Jordan Johnson, Nathaniel Youngman and Jack Larkin.

Police and prosecutors believe all seven people made up a marijuana smuggling ring, which trafficked up to $20,000 worth of the drug between Colorado and Oklahoma. According to the case’s voluminous arrest affidavits, police say Foster and Moore tried to make their own drug runs, cutting the others out of the deal, which authorities say led to their deaths.

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