GOLD RUSH Todd Hoffman mine dispute leads to gunfire, arrest

Todd Hoffman thumb guns

Gold Rush miner Todd Hoffman relocated his mining operations from Canada to the United States last season, eventually opting for Colorado after a failing to find gold in Todd’s home state of Oregon. Next season looks to feature more difficulties for the Hoffman crew as they run into problems with two of #Merica’s most famous traditions: bureaucracy and guns.

As we previously reported, one of the Hoffmans’ two mining locations has been temporarily shut down after a local resident filed a complaint pointing out that the Fairplay mine is located on land zoned for residential use. This came after the crew was found guilty of mining beyond their permitted boundaries, resulting in a hefty fine.

In addition to trying to dodge figurative bullets with their zoning difficulties, the crew is also reportedly dodging literal bullets! On May 18, a man named Aaron Borth was arrested after allegedly firing his gun four times in the direction of the crew!

From 9NEWS:

Members of the Gold Rush crew told the Park County Sheriff’s Office Borth flagged down their truck on County Road 14. They said Borth shouted obscenities and threats before pulling a handgun and firing four shots in the direction of their vehicles. Borth was arrested after a traffic stop, and “expressed his frustration with the mining that is going on around Fairplay,” court documents said. Borth faces three counts of Felony Menacing and three counts of Reckless Endangerment.

From the Park County Sheriff’s Office:

Borth, Aaron Zachary from Fairplay was arrested on 5/18/2017 on charges of: Theft; Prohibited use of a weapon; Reckless endangerment; and Menacing – weapon. He was released on 5/21/2017.

There is very little information about Aaron Borth online, but I did find this entry from 2011 by someone with the same name in neighboring Summit County, as submitted to a local newspaper column:

Friday, May 27 at approximately 12:00 p.m., my 13-year-old black lab ‘Max’ had a stroke. I panicked and picked him up and loaded him into the car. I had to drive from Ptarmigan Mtn. in Silverthorne to Dillon. It was an emergency. I knowingly and willingly broke the speed limit while trying to get up the hill to Dillon. As we all know, it’s three lanes. I turned on my hazards and was beeping the horn trying to alert the other drivers on the road. The left lane cleared for me, and then a tan late model Toyota Tacoma cut me off and wouldn’t let me pass. Then I switched lanes and a 20-something woman in a green (model of car we can’t quite decipher) hatchback did the same while giving me dirty looks. Then as I go far right a tan full size van decides to ride the center lane and swerve back and forth in the lanes so I can’t pass. Then you have the audacity to follow me into Dillon and give me the finger and tell me you’re going to kick my (word not appropriate for polite columnization) and then you just up and leave. Did you three idiots think I was late for a showing at Skyline Cinema or I just really needed to get to City Market, like, right this second? I am so upset. When you see a car with hazards on it means emergency – something is wrong. Thank you all for being such intelligent, great additions to the population of Summit County. My name is Aaron Borth and if you’re one of the drivers I mentioned, I’d love to chat. Dillon PD knows how to reach me.

It’s still unclear whether the zoning issues or the gunfire incident will be featured on Gold Rush next season, but I predict we will see both. I can easily imagine the scene where Freddy Dodge (who received the cease and desist letter) walks up to Todd and breaks the news about the mine having to shut down because the land might be zoned for residential use. “You have got to be friggin’ kidding me!” Todd says, as he wipes his forehead.

Including the gunshots on the show, though, seems a little more questionable. I believe it will though, as I think it will be an opportunity for Todd to talk more about his Christian-based doomsday prepper philosophy. The scene I imagine here is Todd explaining to the crew that they should be prepared for the worst as he shows them the mine gun safe. (Perhaps this could even be a segue to Todd’s long-rumored prepper spin-off series Family Fortress?)

We will try to stay on top of all the Fairplay drama and keep you updated on any major new developments!

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