One of Chipotle’s Highest-Paid Executives Was Indicted As Part of a Cocaine Bust

July 1, 2016, 10:54 AM UTC
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This story has been updated to include comment from Chipotle.

As if Chipotle didn’t have enough problems on its hands.

The burrito chain’s chief creative and development officer Mark Crumpacker was included in an indictment make public on Thursday of alleged drug buyers from a cocaine ring in New York City, according to various media reports.

The indictment was the result of a year-long investigation into cocaine trafficking in the city’s Lower East Side neighborhood. The drug ring was allegedly responsible for the sale of $75,000 worth of cocaine through a delivery service. The indictment charges each buyer with a misdemeanor offense—a single count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.

Fortune‘s attempts to reach Crumpacker were not immediately successful. In a prepared statement, a spokesperson for Chipotle told Fortune that the company had placed Crumpacker 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.”


Chipotle is not involved in the alleged crime, but the incident is no doubt a blow to the restaurant chain’s attempt to regain customer trust and improve sales following its debilitating food safety scandal in 2015 and earlier this year—especially since, as the public face of Chipotle’s marketing strategy, Crumpacker played such an integral role of those efforts. It recently introduced chorizo to its menu and unveiled a loyalty program to try to woo diners back.

Crumpacker is one of Chipotle’s highest-paid executives. According to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Crumpacker received $4.3 million in total compensation in 2015—down about 20% from the year prior—including $32,028 for a company car and $45,274 for housing expenses.

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