The president of the Salt Lake Honorary Colonels — a group of businesspeople who support the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Unified Police Department — has been charged with stealing money from the group and transferring it into his personal and professional bank accounts.
Michael Drury, 49, of Salt Lake City, was charged Friday in Utah’s Third District Court with taking more than $300,000 from the Salt Lake Honorary Colonels’ coffers, as well as from the Utah Honorary Colonels, according to court documents. The Utah Honorary Colonels is a similar group that supports the Utah Attorney General’s Office.
Group members turned Drury in to the state attorney general after a Jan. 22 meeting, where he allegedly told Salt Lake Honorary Colonels members he’d borrowed $100,000 from the group as an investment loan. Group members were concerned, court documents state, because their program was classified as a nonprofit group and funds it collected could not be used to serve private interests or individuals.
Investigators later analyzed 24 bank accounts associated with Drury and found dozens of suspicious transactions, beginning May 20, 2016, when he allegedly withdrew $74,029 from the Salt Lake Honorary Colonels' account and transferred it into his Big Shot Ranch business account. Big Shot Ranch is a firearms supply and range in Grantsville.
Court documents allege Drury took $182,789.05 from the Salt Lake Honorary Colonels’ account and $121,499.45 from the Utah Honorary Colonels’ account.
Drury was charged with three second-degree felony counts of theft and two second-degree felony counts of unlawful dealing with property by fiduciary. He was arrested Friday but quickly posted $200,000 bail and was released from jail, according to court documents.
Prosecutors filed a motion Saturday to revoke Drury’s bail and have him return to jail after he allegedly sent threatening text messages to a potential witness in the case.
Drury allegedly said, “I know you were behind this. Get ready for payback b----."
Prosecutors argued that, and the large cache of weapons Drury has access to because of his business — including a military mini gun that can shoot thousands of rounds per minute — proved he was a risk to the community and should remain in jail without bail.
Drury is no longer listed on the Salt Lake Honorary Colonels’ website. The Salt Lake Tribune was unable to reach Drury or the Colonels for comment Saturday night.
Correction: 3 p.m. Sept. 17: An earlier version of the story misstated the capacity of a military mini gun because of incorrect information in the charging document.