Burton Ritchie (born September 1970) is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, poker player, and political activist turned film producer. He has spent the majority of his traditional professional career in Pensacola, Florida where he founded and ran a series of companies, including a yoga supply internet firm, the regional Psychedelic Shack head shop chain, and a construction company.
Life and career
Ritchie was born in Fairhope, Alabama. He became involved with politics in 1994 when he felt compelled to run against sitting councilman Doug Profitt, who published an anti-gay editorial in the local newspaper.
Burton started playing poker in 2001, winning his first tournament at the Tom McEvoy Poker Championship in Los Angeles. He was briefly involved with Pokerspot when he made a buyout offer, after putting together a consortium of investors, that would have paid off Pokerspot's player debt. He has cashed-in in the World Series of Poker every year since 2011.
In 2012, Burton entered into the motion picture industry becoming the CEO and Co-Founder of Heretic Films, a film production company based in the mountain resort town of Park City, Utah. He is an Ambassador Council Member of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media which works towards the need to dramatically improve gender balance, reduce stereotyping and creating diverse female characters in film and theatre. He is also a member of the Park City Film Series Board.
Burton has produced multiple film projects including: Copenhagen (2014), starring Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones), which premiered at the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival, winning the Audience Award for Narrative Feature; Low Down (2014), starring John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival winning the Sundance U.S. Dramatic Cinematography Award; Big Significant Things (2014), which premiered at the 2014 SXSW (South by Southwest Festival) starring Harry Lloyd (Game of Thrones); Welcome to Me (2014) starring Kristen Wiig, also produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay; Eating Animals (2014) narrated by Natalie Portman; and the Kevin Pollak directorial debut, Misery Loves Comedy, which was a 2015 Sundance Special Event and acquired by Tribeca Film.
Burton is married to jewelry designer Stephanie Ritchie. Together they have two children.
On October 6, 2015, Ritchie was arrested on federal drug charges for manufacturing and distributing "Spice." On January 23, 2017. Ritchie was found guilty of multiple Federal charges related to the distribution and sale of the drug "spice". He is awaiting sentencing and faces 79 years in Federal prison.
On July 3, 2019, (Charles) Burton Ritchie and co-founder of Heredic Fils, Benjamin Gelecki, were found guilty of 24 federal charges related to selling synthetic drugs in Nevada, after a previous conviction in Virginia case was overturned.
The pair was held responsible for selling 4,000 pounds, which grossed $1.6 million, of Spice/K2 within a 24-day period in 2012.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 10, 2020 in federal court in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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