Feds raid Denver-area pot dispensaries, grow operations

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Seven weeks before the nation’s first retail marijuana shops open in Colorado, federal authorities Thursday morning raided more than a dozen Denver metro area marijuana facilities.

In the largest federal raid on Colorado marijuana facilities since medical marijuana became legal, federal law enforcement agents with an assist from local police officers executed search and seizure warrants at multiple dispensaries and cultivation facilities throughout the region — at least a dozen in Denver alone.

At one raid in Boulder, a pile of seized marijuana lay in the snow like Christmas trees until a front-end loader scooped it up. At the VIP Cannabis dispensary in Denver, broken glass from a shattered front window littered the parking lot while masked agents hauled boxes of evidence into a U-Haul truck.

Police turned customers away. And the dispensary’s website said it would be closed Thursday and today.

Read more at DenverPost.com.

Comments

Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Note that it was with the cooperation of local and state police. That cooperation requires that local and state police also believe that those dispensaries broke state laws.

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rhys jones 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm sure there are state laws dictating it is for use within the state; Colorado can't enforce its laws outside the state, and from the Post article, it would appear that's what the Feds are most concerned about, interstate transportation of it. It's interesting that nobody was arrested -- the Gestapo just broke in, seized millions of dollars' worth of stock, didn't even say don't do it again, nor leave notice to that effect. Then they left. Stock in hand.

The interstate concerns are the only valid objections the Feds have left, and good luck trying to stop that -- these guys must have been doing major quantities, back east somewhere, would be my uninformed guess. I don't think one guy bought an ounce and drove it to Wyoming, just to justify a roust.

Just more gasps of a dying ideology. Won't make a bit of difference at the street level, the Feds are just soiling their own undies. If nobody is charged in court -- they don't have to justify their raids -- where's the Constitution now?

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Mark Ruckman 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Gestapo? really $ millions in MJ - what is your source

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rhys jones 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Read the Post article. One place alone had over $1 million worth seized. READ. Then you won't have to ask stupid questions.

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Mark Ruckman 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't have free time to read all of the different media sources in Denver, sorry that is disgusting to you.

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rhys jones 4 months, 3 weeks ago

It was only the article cited in the Pilot article and upon which it was based. It was right there to find.

What I find disgusting is your preponderance to refrain from comment, unless it is an attempt to belittle or discredit something I say. I don't know what your problem is, but I do know it's your problem.

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Mark Ruckman 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I apply my 2 cents evenly when I read BS.

For example your use of the term Gestapo, no one was sent to secret death camps for operating an MJ store.

Next you mentioned millionS - I went to read the story and one grower stand they took 1 million $ worth of plants. You made the word plural.

If you feel like I discredited these two statements, you are correct. People spewing false statements should be called on their statements.

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rhys jones 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Big bullies destroying property and intimidating people smacks of Gestapo, and if one dispensary lost over a million dollars' worth of inventory, it is more than reasonable to assume all ten lost multiple millions.

We eagerly await your original contributions, and not just belittling or attempting to discredit other contributors. Or have you no original thoughts?

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Mark Ruckman 4 months, 3 weeks ago

1 grow operation lost an owner reported $1M - there were no other reports of grow operations hit and no secondary reports confirming the value.

You obviously need to study WW 2 if you think "Big bullies destroying property and intimidating people" means Gestapo. The actions were carried out by a mix of federal, state and local police enforcing national laws that are over 75 years old and have been tested countless times in court.

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John Fielding 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Masked agents? Smashing windows for access? What does this sound like?

Why could they not simply come in during business hours and say we're here to conduct a search and seizure per this warrant?

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Local and state police would need evidence that the state's dispensary laws were being violated for them to cooperate with the feds.

It is pretty common to seize evidence in an investigation prior to filing charges because they need to review the evidence to know what charges are supported.

For instance, if they caught a dealer in another state and that dealer said his supply are these dispensary owners selling him pounds at wholesale and he can provides some supporting evidence supporting his claims then both feds and Colorado police have a reasonable basis to believe their laws were broken and thus get a search warrant.

If the feds involved the local police in a bust that turns out to have been a properly operating dispensary then there will be a political backlash in Colorado making future cooperation more difficult, if not impossible, to get.

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mark hartless 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeah Boy! What we need is a more powerful gubbamint. That's what we need. Um Hmm.

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Ben Tiffany 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't think the Feds can resist. Whenever they see or hear about a sizable amount of marijuana,even if it meets the requirements of state law,they will seize it. They won't care if it's a cooperative effort of several businesses trying to achieve some sort of economy of scale in their growing operations;if they think one of them is in violation of any of the points that the Feds have listed as their requirements to allow the business in the first place,they'll come in and haul it all away. There are so many intangibles and so many chances for things to go wrong,I think it's going to be amazing if the pot business ever is allowed to be successful.

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeah sure, dispensaries have been growing copious amounts of mj for years, but now the feds do busts out of envy without any evidence?

I note the reaction of many others in the mj business which is to welcome the bad actors being busted. I think it has been an open secret in the dispensary business that there were Front Range dispensaries with strong connections to gangs or organized crime.

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Ben Tiffany 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Scott, How do you know what evidence they had,or if they had any real evidence? The article says that no evidence was given. You may be right that there connections between Front Range dispensaries and organized crime,but nothing was said about that in the report. There is also a good chance that some of the mj seized came from businesses that had no such connections,but merely were in a cooperative with someone who does. I agree that the "bad actors" in this business need to be removed,but do those that are following state law have to be penalized at the same time? Perhaps the Feds will explain themselves a bit so that we know who and what they were after exactly.

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Ben,

They had to have enough evidence to get a search warrant. To get the cooperation of state and local police requires they have evidence that state mj laws were being broken.

They feds did explain that the investigation is due to violations of the fed's policy on state mj which means something like interstate trafficking.

It is possible that a dispensary operating legally that was part of a shared cultivation with the raided dispensaries also lost their plants. But that is normal for any joint venture with a corrupt partner. The involvement of the corrupt dispensary justifies busting the shared facility and it is left for later for the honest dispensary to dissolve the partnership and try to recover assets.

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mark hartless 4 months, 3 weeks ago

"They had to have evidence to get the cooperation of..."

Oh really???

How much "evidence" did the IRS have when it targetd the TEA party? How much "evidence" did the government have when they were listening in on journalists phone conversations? Or when they read your e-mails or record your phone calls?? Or flew that drone over your house? Or checked your electric bill to see if you were growing pot?

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 3 weeks ago

So the first guy they arrested is initially charged with being here on a nonwork visa from Columbia that is pictured with semi automatic rifles that were also found in his residence. Seems that the right to bear arms is not extended to visitors.

This guy from Columbia is also appears to be an owner and manager of a dispensary in violation of Colorado law. He also purchased another dispensary with cultivation facilities and was sued by the previous owners for not making the required payments and they allege he was diverting mj.

This case looks less like a possible bad arrest than a case which will lead to questions of the state's mj licensing and monitoring since how do they miss a guy that is not only not a Colorado legal resident, but he isn't even an US citizen!

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rhys jones 4 months, 2 weeks ago

What a stupid waste of our good money, the Feds fighting a war they're never going to win.

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Having a gun toting Colombian in Colorado's dispensary business is a winnable war.

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mark hartless 4 months, 2 weeks ago

The madness on our souther border is nothing short of treason.

Every single day it translates into someone who should not even be here in this country raping, robbing, killing or injuring an American citizen.

Still, the statists and leftists (and I mean BOTH the democrat AND republican variety) wouldn't say S**T if they had a mouthfull when it comes to getting SCREWED by illegals because they either want the cheap labor or the votes. Either way citizens get dumped on every day.

When the man-pack that melts NYC is traced back through our souther border maybe some folks will wake up, but I actually doubt it. Instead that will be the day we gladly give up what few remaining rights we have and cheer the jack-booted masked storm-troopers.

There may be no winning the war on drugs and that war is stupid, but only a complete fool believes we couldn't stop people crossing our border if we wanted.

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mark hartless 4 months, 2 weeks ago

How many people, illegal or otherwise, walk into Area 51? Why? Because there exists the WILL to see to it that it doesnt happen.

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