Chipotle Marketing Exec Indicted in Major Crackdown on Cocaine Buyers in New York

Mark Crumpacker allegedly among drug ring customers

Headshot of Kristina Monllos

Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle's chief creative and development officer, has been indicted as part of a New York City drug ring bust.

The Chipotle executive and Fox Business producer Katie Welnhofer were among 18 white collar buyers named as alleged "key repeat customers" who bought cocaine. They were charged with drug possession as well as criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to the Daily Mail.

The indictment comes after a yearlong investigation into cocaine trafficking around New York City's Lower East Side neighborhood. The drug ring allegedly sold over $75,000 worth of cocaine via a delivery service. 

"This narcotics operation was organized and discreet, but it could not withstand the precision of this long-term investigation," said New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton.

UPDATE: A spokesman for Chipotle told Adweek Thursday evening that the company has put Crumpacker on administrative leave.

"At the moment, we know very little about these charges," the spokesman said. "Due to the nature of the situation, Mark has been placed on administrative leave. We made this decision in order to remain focused on the operation of our business and to allow Mark to focus on these personal matters. Mark’s responsibilities have been assigned to other senior managers in his absence."

Crumpacker, who was named chief marketing officer for the fast-food chain in 2009, was a 2014 Adweek Brand Genius winner. At the time, Chipotle founder Steve Ells told Adweek that Crumpacker "took a completely fresh look at how to convey the essence of Chipotle's brand," and that "he was able to brilliantly convey this idea of the importance of where your food comes from." 

Before joining Chipotle, Crumpacker co-founded Sequence, a San Francisco-based branding firm where he worked from 2002 to 2008, according to Business Insider.

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.