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Wild Bill

Looks like the war isn't over.

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Ya gotta pay your protection money or they'll send the boys over. The police/prison industry must be appeased.

 

Authorities raid 247 Colorado homes growing black market pot

By DAN ELLIOTT May 24, 2019


DENVER (AP) — Authorities said Friday they raided hundreds of black market marijuana operations in Colorado that flouted the state’s cannabis law by growing tens of thousands of plants in Denver-area homes and selling the drugs out of state.

Investigators seized more than 80,000 plants and 4,500 pounds (2,040 kilograms) of harvested marijuana, state and federal prosecutors said at a news conference. Officers raided 247 homes and eight businesses and arrested 42 people in Denver and seven nearby counties.

State law allows up to 12 marijuana plants per residence for personal use, but some of the homes had more than 1,000 and many had hundreds, said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.

Colorado and nine other states have broadly legalized marijuana use but it remains illegal under federal law. That has created tension between some state and federal officials.

But George Brauchler, district attorney for the south and east Denver suburbs, stressed the investigation was a joint state-federal operation, not the U.S. Department of Justice imposing its will on Colorado.

“Make no mistake, we are equal partners in this,” Brauchler said.

State and federal officials said the nearly three-year investigation showed that illegal marijuana trafficking mushroomed after voters approved recreational use in 2012.
Authorities say they broke up hundreds of black market marijuana growing operations in Colorado that flouted the state's cannabis law by raising tens of thousands of plants in Denver-area homes. (May 24)

Dunn said Colorado has become the epicenter for a nationwide black market in marijuana.

Brauchler warned that Colorado is becoming “the wild West of weed.” He said the provision in the law that allows small-scale home marijuana cultivation opened the door to big, illegal operations.

Brauchler warned that other states considering allowing home marijuana plants could expect the same but added he was not trying to discourage them from doing so.

“I think states are entitled to do whatever they want,” he said. “But they need to know the reality of this.”

Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates for decriminalizing marijuana, questioned how prosecutors know that Colorado’s law attracted illegal growers.

“Did they conduct a survey of illegal marijuana cultivators to determine why they decided to operate where they did?” he said. “Are they able to know whether those operations existed prior to legalization or not?”

Tvert blamed the illegal operations on states that still ban marijuana, and said if they legalized and regulated it as Colorado does, there would be little illegal production.

Dunn said investigators plan to use federal forfeiture laws to seize 41 homes, 25 vehicles and $2.2 million in cash connected to the marijuana operations.

He said the 41 homes have an average market value of $400,000.

“These grow operations are not occurring in abandoned houses or poor parts of the metro area,” he said. “These are happening in middle- and upper-class neighborhoods where many of us live and raise families, and they’re occurring all over the metro area.”

William McDermott of U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said the Colorado operations did not appear to be violent. He said officers seized a few guns but would not say how many.

Sixteen of the suspects were arrested on federal drug charges and 26 on state charges.

 

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This may not have been what the original story reported.  ....

https://denver.cbslocal.com/2019/05/24/marijuana-raid-asian-pride-drug-trafficking-organization-busted/

 

Asian Pride’ Marijuana Bust Was Largest In Colorado Law Enforcement History

By Rick SallingerMay 24, 2019 at 5:02 pm
 

DENVER (CBS4) – The numbers contained in a court affidavit are enormous: 227 search warrants were executed during a multi-year investigation into homes being turned into marijuana grow houses. Some 66,000 pot plants were seized and 4,500 pounds of finished marijuana products in what is the largest marijuana operation in Colorado law enforcement history. A total of 42 people are under arrest.

pot-raids-3.jpg?w=420&h=236

(credit: CBS)

The court document says the investigation began in the summer of 2016 looking into what was called the “Asian Pride Drug Trafficking Organization.” It determined members of the “Chinese Drug Trafficking Organization” were supplying marijuana to Asian Pride members. The affidavit says the Chinese organization operated hundreds of grow homes in the Denver area.

Those homes were the objects of raids by federal, state and local law enforcement over the past two years. Many if not most were homes that had been rented or bought in suburban neighborhoods.

The raids have been going on for well over a year. But only now after busts this week are indictments being revealed.

“To be clear, these grows are not ones that were otherwise legal under state law. These are pure black market, producing large quantities of marijuana for distribution out of state for criminal enterprises,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.

Ernie Martinez, an executive with the national Narcotics Officers’ Association, spoke in general terms to CBS4’s Rick Sallinger,

pot-raids-2.jpg?w=420&h=236

Ernie Martinez (credit: CBS)

“So we are starting to see a combination of organized crime, groups of crime taking these suburban homes and hiding in plain sight and utilizing these homes for these large grow operations.”

In federal court, seven Asian men and five women appeared before a magistrate to be advised of charges they face. The indictments were returned earlier this year but only unsealed now.

pot-raids-1.jpg?w=420&h=236

(credit: CBS)

One names two men with conspiring with the intent to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants.

Martinez says Colorado is being taken advantage of.

“We’re seeing a lot of organized crime from other countries because it’s easy pickings.”

So numerous are the illegal pot grow operations that they have become almost commonplace. But neighbors are certainly caught off guard when the busts happen.

Jim Lynch owns a house across the street, “I’m surprised, you know, I had no idea this was going on. If I did I would have called somebody.”

The results of this long investigation are now becoming clearer. The court affidavit says the case grew from a previous case involving restaurateur Dan Tang. The owner of Heaven Dragon restaurant in Thornton was sentenced to prison in 2010 following an investigation known as “Operation Fortune Cookie.”

The operations spanned the Front Range including Arapahoe County where the District Attorney George Brauchler told reporters, “If you legalize marijuana and allow it to be grown in homes this is what you can expect to happen.”

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30 minutes ago, semicaregiver said:

This may not have been what the original story reported.  ....

https://denver.cbslocal.com/2019/05/24/marijuana-raid-asian-pride-drug-trafficking-organization-busted/

 

Asian Pride’ Marijuana Bust Was Largest In Colorado Law Enforcement History

By Rick SallingerMay 24, 2019 at 5:02 pm
 

DENVER (CBS4) – The numbers contained in a court affidavit are enormous: 227 search warrants were executed during a multi-year investigation into homes being turned into marijuana grow houses. Some 66,000 pot plants were seized and 4,500 pounds of finished marijuana products in what is the largest marijuana operation in Colorado law enforcement history. A total of 42 people are under arrest.

pot-raids-3.jpg?w=420&h=236

(credit: CBS)

The court document says the investigation began in the summer of 2016 looking into what was called the “Asian Pride Drug Trafficking Organization.” It determined members of the “Chinese Drug Trafficking Organization” were supplying marijuana to Asian Pride members. The affidavit says the Chinese organization operated hundreds of grow homes in the Denver area.

Those homes were the objects of raids by federal, state and local law enforcement over the past two years. Many if not most were homes that had been rented or bought in suburban neighborhoods.

The raids have been going on for well over a year. But only now after busts this week are indictments being revealed.

“To be clear, these grows are not ones that were otherwise legal under state law. These are pure black market, producing large quantities of marijuana for distribution out of state for criminal enterprises,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn.

Ernie Martinez, an executive with the national Narcotics Officers’ Association, spoke in general terms to CBS4’s Rick Sallinger,

pot-raids-2.jpg?w=420&h=236

Ernie Martinez (credit: CBS)

“So we are starting to see a combination of organized crime, groups of crime taking these suburban homes and hiding in plain sight and utilizing these homes for these large grow operations.”

In federal court, seven Asian men and five women appeared before a magistrate to be advised of charges they face. The indictments were returned earlier this year but only unsealed now.

pot-raids-1.jpg?w=420&h=236

(credit: CBS)

One names two men with conspiring with the intent to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants.

Martinez says Colorado is being taken advantage of.

“We’re seeing a lot of organized crime from other countries because it’s easy pickings.”

So numerous are the illegal pot grow operations that they have become almost commonplace. But neighbors are certainly caught off guard when the busts happen.

Jim Lynch owns a house across the street, “I’m surprised, you know, I had no idea this was going on. If I did I would have called somebody.”

The results of this long investigation are now becoming clearer. The court affidavit says the case grew from a previous case involving restaurateur Dan Tang. The owner of Heaven Dragon restaurant in Thornton was sentenced to prison in 2010 following an investigation known as “Operation Fortune Cookie.”

The operations spanned the Front Range including Arapahoe County where the District Attorney George Brauchler told reporters, “If you legalize marijuana and allow it to be grown in homes this is what you can expect to happen.”

DA George Brauchler; "If you legalize and allow it to be grown in homes this is what you can expect".

More like, "If you legalize and let if be grown in everyone's home and yard all across the USA then you will NEVER see this again."

But then Braunchler wouldn't get to play, "Operation Fortune Cookie" anymore.  That's no fun. Who were these folks hurting anyway? 

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Dave Young, 17th Judicial District Attorney, center, makes a point while U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn, left, and George Brauchler, 18th Judicial District Attorney, listen during a news conference to announce the arrest of 42 people this week in one of the largest black market marijuana enforcement actions in the history of Colorado Friday, May 24, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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