Steamboat police say pot was being shipped to Illinois in pounds

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— All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force members Thursday executed three searches related to an investigation of the illegal mailing of dozens of pounds of marijuana to Lake County, Ill., in suburban Chicago.

Steamboat Springs Police Chief Joel Rae said no arrests had been made yet, and they are meeting with the Routt County District Attorney’s Office on Monday to discuss potential charges against at least three people.

An investigator from Lake County flew to Routt County to help with the case. ACET task force officer Matt Conley said the searches occurred at residences at 171 Hillside Drive, 660 Parkview Drive and at 28150 Blacktail Lane in the county between Steamboat and Stagecoach.

During the searches, officers seized $8,100 in cash and 26 pounds of marijuana. One pound of marijuana wax and a gun also were seized.

Conley said they think that during the past year, 70 pounds of marijuana was shipped across state lines at a price of $3,000 per pound. Multiple shipments were being made each month, Conley said. Rae said the receiver of the marijuana then was mailing back cash payments.

Conley said one of the suspects admitted to taking in $150,000 in cash last year, but none of the suspects declared any significant income last year on their state tax returns, Conley said.

Conley said they think two of the suspects are carriers of medical marijuana cards, and the bigger issue was the distribution of the marijuana across state lines. Amendment 64 makes possession and the growing of marijuana legal in Colorado, but it still is illegal to ship it out of the state.

Rae said the investigation is an example of how Amendment 20 is broken and should be repealed. The state constitutional amendment was passed by voters in 2000. In some cases, Rae said, “rogue doctors” can prescribe a patient to have as many as 99 plants and 33 ounces of marijuana.

“It’s preposterous to think that one individual doctor can issue a prescription for 99 plants and 33 ounces to one individual,” Rae said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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Comments

Scott Wedel 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Many other counties and cities have taken steps against this sort of grow activity by using zoning to limit personal grow spaces to 100 or 150 sq ft. It appears that Routt County is a bit of a paradise for these sort of operations because it is one of the relatively few counties that has no limits on the size of personal grows and is not hostile to pot growers.

The advantage of attacking this by zoning is that enforcement involves the property owner and can carry daily fines large enough to get the activity stopped.

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