CO Hemp Farmers Defend Themselves From Home Invaders

A Colorado couple ended up in a fight for their lives after their hemp farm was targeted by four home invaders who apparently believed that the couple was growing cannabis. Thankfully the couple were both armed and prepared to defend themselves, though the pair say they’re still shaken by what happened.


Charlie and Zoraya San Martin have run their 40-acre hemp farm for about a year, and haven’t had any trouble until last Wednesday evening as the couple were getting ready for bed. That’s when they heard the sound of someone trying to get in the front door of their rural home in El Paso County.

Charlie ran to the bedroom, grabbed his gun and shouted for the strangers to identify themselves. When no one answered, he fired a shot through the door.

Someone pounded on the back door; another broke through a window in a bedroom. The stranger ran from the bedroom, saw Charlie with his gun and scrambled up to the attic space. Charlie shot blankly into the ceiling, desperately hoping to scare the gang away.

“It was a really scary situation,” Charlie recalled. He remembered hearing gunshots all around the house, but miraculously wasn’t hit. A few minutes of chaotic crossfire, and the four men finally fled, Charlie said.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived, Charlie said they found hundreds of bullet casings scattered around the outside of the property.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Amy Swearer pointed out on Twitter, so much for the argument that no one needs more than ten rounds to protect themselves.


The couple are okay, and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate. It sounds like despite the number of rounds fired, there’s no evidence that any of the armed suspects were hit by the San Martins as they returned fire, or at least there’s no mention of anyone showing up at local hospitals with gunshot wounds.

Robert Trujillo, who’s a business partner of the hemp farmers, says neighbors had warned the couple that they needed better security for their rural farm, noting that illegal cannabis grow operations can be found throughout the county and are a popular target for criminals.

“It’s just so brazen,” Trujillo said. He wondered if the farm’s new greenhouse attracted unwanted attention. “We’ve never experienced this before.”

Along with security cameras, extra lighting and motion sensors, Trujillo added he intends to put a sign up on the land that says “Hemp Farm” in capital letters, to tell future would-be assailants “we’re broke,” he joked.

“It’s ridiculous that we have to do that.”


It is ridiculous, but criminals aren’t exactly known for being the sharpest knives in the drawer. It might not be a bad idea to put up a sign letting any would-be home invaders know that there are no bags of cannabis to be harvested from the hemp farm, but it would be an even better idea to restock on ammunition and get in some range time in case the unthinkable happens again.



Join the conversation as a VIP Member