02/19/2013 08:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mark Cappello Arrested In Slaying Of Boulder Man, 2 Others In Botched California Pot Deal

A Central City man has been arrested in Alabama in connection with the slayings of three men -- including one from Boulder -- during a botched marijuana deal earlier this month in Northern California.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports 46-year-old Mark Cappello of Central City was being held without bail Monday on a fugitive from justice warrant.

Cappello is suspected of killing three men on Feb. 5 inside a home near Forestville, Calif., including 42-year-old Todd Klarkowski, of Boulder. The other victims were Raleigh Butler, 26, of Petaluma, Calif., and Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington,


Authorities say the three men had arranged to buy a large amount of marijuana at the home where Butler's mother lived. The bodies were discovered in a bedroom by Butler's brother and his girlfriend, who had become concerned after they could not reach Butler by phone for hours, officials said.

It's unclear how investigators tied Cappello to the murders. On Thursday, Cappello was pulled over for a traffic violation at about 10:20 a.m. on eastbound Interstate 10 west of Mobile, Mobile County sheriff's spokeswoman Lori Myles said.

During the traffic stop, Mobile deputies found a search warrant linked to the vehicle, a white 1995 Ford Bronco, stemming from the Sonoma County triple homicide case, Myles said. They alerted Sonoma County sheriff's detectives, who then secured a warrant for Cappello's arrest, Myles said.

Detectives had already linked Cappello to the crime, officials said. Cappello declined to speak with detectives following his arrest, he said. Cappello remained at a jail in Mobile, Ala., and was awaiting extradition.

Court documents show he has no previous arrests in Colorado. Officials declined to comment on whether Cappello and Klarkowski, who both lived in Colorado, knew each other.

Klarkowski was arrested on drug charges in 1999 and served six months in prison, according to Colorado court records. He was originally sentenced to two years of probation, but the probation was revoked.

Boulder County Drug Task Force Cmdr. Tom Sloan said he could not comment on whether Klarkowski was the subject of any investigations in Boulder since the case is still under investigation. California investigators did travel out to Boulder to investigate the case, though Sloan could not comment on the details of the investigation.

Boulder County Chief Trial Deputy District Attorney Ken Kupfner told the Camera earlier this month that he also could not say whether Klarkowski was the subject of an active investigation in Boulder.

The Associated Press and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat contributed to this report.