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Commerce City man sentenced to federal prison for illegal marijuana grow

Published: Jul 17, 2020, 7:07 pm • Updated: Jul 17, 2020, 7:09 pm By Kieran Nicholson A Commerce City man has been sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for illegal cultivation of marijuana in a residence. Zhiming Wang, 26, a Chinese national and a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., was also sentenced Friday to three years of supervised release following his prison term, according to a U.S. Attorney Office, District of Colorado news release. Related Articles Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Businessman sentenced to prison for involvement in black market marijuana organization

A California businessman described as the mastermind behind an illegal marijuana trafficking organization was sentenced to 12 years in prison for conning people out of money and shipping drugs out of state. Scott Pack, 42, was sentenced Thursday by Arapahoe County District Court Judge Michael Spear on two counts under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, including a first-class drug felony, as well as two counts of securities fraud, according to a news release from the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Spear characterized Pack as one of the leaders of the operation. He emphasized the sophistication of the criminal operation is cause for concern as the state seeks to enforce its marijuana laws, the news release said. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Marijuana raids ongoing in Mesa, Teller, El Paso and Las Animas counties

Two large marijuana busts are occurring in Colorado but authorities say they are not connected. In Teller County, the sheriff’s office reported raids in Colorado Springs, Divide and in Las Animas County where two people were arrested and three properties were searched in a 14-hour operation. The investigation involved a group associated with black market marijuana cultivation and distribution, according to a Teller County Sheriff’s Office news release. In Mesa County, the sheriff’s office asked people to stay out of the Grand Mesa area because of an investigation into marijuana illegally grown on public lands. A Colorado Army National Guard helicopter is participating in the operation, which is expected to last throughout the day. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Colorado lawmakers let governor mass-pardon marijuana possession convictions

The governor would be able to mass-pardon marijuana convictions for possession of 2 ounces or less if he signs a bill that gives him that authority. It was the last amendment to the last bill considered Monday before Colorado’s General Assembly ended its work for the year. Lawmakers added the mass expungement option to House Bill 1424, which aims to open the marijuana industry to people of color and those who were previously convicted on drug charges that wouldn’t be crimes now. A spokesperson for Gov. Jared Polis didn’t directly answer whether he would sign it but sounded supportive Tuesday afternoon. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Despite legalization, people of color still disproportionately targeted for marijuana, new studies say

Marijuana legalization has been touted as one way to unravel the consequences of the war on drugs, but two new studies suggest that the communities most harmed by the nearly 50-year crusade — namely people of color — are not reaping the benefits. Two reports, published by the American Civil Liberties Union and a team of researchers from Stanford University and New York University, respectively, analyzed different sets of police data and came to similar conclusions: despite legalization, minorities are still disproportionately searched and arrested for marijuana-related offenses. The university researchers, who published their findings in the journal Nature: Human Behavior on May 8, looked at data from about 100 million traffic stops conducted by more than 50 state patrol agencies and munic...

El Paso County breaks up three illegal marijuana grows

Published: Apr 30, 2020, 10:54 pm • Updated: Apr 30, 2020, 10:55 pm By Kieran Nicholson Three illegal marijuana growing operations were uncovered and raided in El Paso County on Wednesday, with more than 700 plants, worth an estimated $700,000, seized. Investigators also seized $28,000 and five firearms while serving search warrants at three locations, according to a sheriff’s office news release. El Paso sheriffIllegal marijuana raids in El Paso County. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Denver risking tax dollars by “ineffectively” auditing marijuana businesses, city auditor alleges

Denver’s process for auditing marijuana businesses is inadequate and has potentially cost the city countless tax dollars allocated for public service programs, the city auditor alleged Thursday. In a scathing new report, Denver auditor and certified public accountant Timothy M. O’Brien evaluated the city’s methods, strategies and standards for auditing marijuana dispensaries, cultivations and manufacturing facilities, deeming them “ineffective” and “inefficient.” Officials also have failed to address several unlicensed marijuana delivery services active in the city, the report said. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Denver marijuana dispensaries see increase in burglaries during coronavirus pandemic

Denver marijuana businesses have seen an increase in burglaries during the coronavirus pandemic as the cannabis industry continues to see an uptick in crime in the city, according to police. Allowed to continue operations as essential businesses, dispensaries and cultivations reported 10 burglaries in the first two weeks of April, Denver police said. That’s up from eight burglaries reported during the whole month of April 2019. Burglaries of Denver marijuana businesses hit a three-year high in 2019, with 122 reported within city limits. However, statistics are up every month of 2020 from the year prior, totaling 31 reported burglaries so far. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Family missing from Thornton is found crossing the U.S. border into Mexico

Published: Apr 3, 2020, 9:07 pm • Updated: Apr 3, 2020, 9:09 pm By Kieran Nicholson Parents and a toddler missing from Thornton have been found crossing the U.S. border into Mexico. Reported missing on Wednesday, the family is “safe and unharmed,” said Matt Barnes, a police spokesman. Missing Thornton Family Update. Preliminary details,the family of three has been located at the Mexico and California border. Investigation is on-going. Limited details at this time. We want to thank the public for their assistance. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Rocky Ford police officer accused of illegally confiscating marijuana is charged with distribution of the drug

A Rocky Ford police officer, accused of illegally confiscating marijuana during an active police investigation, has been criminally charged with distribution of the drug. Officer James Lopez is charged with distribution of a controlled substance and official misconduct, stemming from a December 2019 incident in southeast Colorado, according to a Colorado Bureau of Investigation news release. Lopez allegedly confiscated marijuana in the Rocky Ford area and later brought about a pound of marijuana to the residence of an acquaintance, who is not a law officer, and packaged the drug for apparent distribution, the release said. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Aurora couple first to go to prison in connection with large-scale Colorado black market marijuana ring

An Aurora couple was sentenced in federal court this week for their role in a large-scale black market marijuana grow operation, the first people to be sent to prison as part of a massive Denver-area drug take-down announced last year. Huanyu Yan, 54, and You Lan Xiang, 50, received 36 months and 30 months in federal prison, respectively, for growing nearly 900 marijuana plants in their basement with plans to distribute the drug, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. The two were found guilty in December of marijuana cultivation following a four-day trial. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Suspect charged in armed robbery of Denver marijuana dispensary — may be connected to 5 others

Published: Feb 5, 2020, 4:12 pm • Updated: Feb 5, 2020, 4:15 pm By Tiney Ricciardi Denver prosecutors have charged a suspect in the armed robbery of a marijuana dispensary last month that law enforcement officials believe is connected to five similar hold-ups in late 2019. Courtesy Denver District Attorney’s OfficeSabastian Littlejohn Sabastian Tremayne Littlejohn, 25, was arrested on charges stemming from a robbery at Lightshade dispensary at 330 S. Dayton St. on Jan. 8. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

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