A Chipotle marketing executive who allegedly made repeated purchases of cocaine from a Manhattan drug ring turned himself in Tuesday morning, according to his attorney.
Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief creative and development officer, was arrested and arraigned on seven counts of possession of a controlled substance, before being released a short time later on $4,500 bail, says his attorney, Gerald Lefcourt.
As recently as May 14, and starting around Jan. 29, Crumpacker made several purchases of cocaine, according to an updated indictment.
News of Crumpacker’s indictment and subsequent arrest comes at a time when Chipotle is trying to reclaim its reputation after a series of health-related issues involving its food and employees sent its stock price plummeting. The Mexican food purveyor quickly distanced itself from Crumpacker's alleged crimes by putting him on administrative leave last week and declaring that it would continue to focus on its daily operations.
The restaurant chain's health scare woes began over a year ago. In January, Chipotle said that it was served with a federal grand jury subpoena over its handling of a norovirus outbreak five months earlier in California, which sickened more than 200 people, including 18 employees. Later, in March, a Chipotle just outside Boston was temporarily shuttered after an employee tested positive for the highly contagious norovirus.
To win back diners and investors, Chipotle has given away more than 6 million burritos or burrito bowls, launched a promotion in which customers could buy one item and get another free, and, last week began a loyalty offering dubbed “Chiptopia’’ that will reward diners for their number of visits this summer.