Chipotle executive linked to New York cocaine bust

Chipotle Mexican Grill placed one of its top marketing executives on leave after he was named in an indictment involving a cocaine ring in New York.

Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief creative and development officer, was charged with drug possession and accused of being connected to a cocaine delivery service in New York.

The 53-year-old Crumpacker was one of 18 alleged buyers named in the indictment and has been placed on administrative leave. His arraignment is expected in the coming days.

“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 spokesman Chris Arnold said.

Crumpacker was hailed as an architect of the company’s attempts to win back customer approval following outbreaks of E. coli and norovirus dating back to last Fall.

According to Arnold, other executives had already been assigned to handle Crumpacker’s duties while on leave.

The company face a dramatic loss of same-store sales in the first quarter and posted its first loss since becoming a public company.