Seven years after the first recreational pot shops opened for business in Colorado, youth aren’t smoking more weed, older adults are blazing more and marijuana-related arrests are way down — but Black Coloradans are still much more likely to get in trouble for cannabis offenses, according to a state report released Monday. The biennial report — “Impacts on Marijuana Legalization in Colorado,” commissioned by the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice — is the most extensive look since 2018 at marijuana’s impact across public safety, health, driving and youth consumption. Overall, the authors highlight a few notable trends in the way cannabis is being consumed in Colorado: People are moving away from smoking and instead are consuming cannabis through vapes and edibles at higher rates. Read t...
Dominique Wogan, a Castle Rock man who shot and killed his partner in a black-market marijuana scheme, was sentenced to 36 years in prison, according to an 18th Judicial District news release issued Wednesday. Douglas County District Court Judge Patricia Herron sentenced the 35-year-old man for the murder of Fletcher Bodnar, a 36-year-old Highlands Ranch resident, the news release said. A jury found Wogan guilty of second-degree murder in Bodnar’s death in March when he was also convicted of illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Wogan had a previous felony, meaning his possession of a firearm was not legal. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
As he awaited sentencing in 2010, Fayin Deng sounded a contemplative, philosophic note. “I have learned now that once you become obsessed with money, no matter how great your original need was,” Deng wrote to the federal judge overseeing his criminal case, “there is no such thing as feeling like you have enough.” The source of his cash came from a different kind of green — marijuana. It was “easy money,” Deng wrote, referring to his role in a large-scale Colorado drug trafficking organization responsible for growing massive quantities of illicit marijuana for sale across the country. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
Federal and local law enforcement on Thursday announced the takedown of a black market marijuana and money laundering scheme in Colorado — an operation comprising 21 individuals growing millions of dollars worth of illicit pot across metro Denver and funneling their profits back to China through social media apps. Drug investigators seized thousands of plants, hundreds of pounds of packaged marijuana and roughly $1 million during the investigation that began in August 2020, authorities said in a news conference at the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Centennial. “I want to emphasize that while this is a micro-cell in our state of Colorado … we believe that this is going on on a macro-level across the entire United States, said John Kellner, the district attorney for Arapahoe and...
Published: Apr 19, 2021, 4:56 pm • Updated: Apr 19, 2021, 4:57 pm By Dp Opinion Not very neighborly Re: “Wyoming aims to protect coal,” April 14 news story The hypocrisy of Republicans never ceases to amaze me. For decades the Republicans in states have decried use of the federal government’s constitutional powers as an infringement of states’ rights. Now, Republicans in Wyoming have passed a new law setting aside money to sue states like Colorado that hamper the use of Wyoming coal because of their renewable energy policies. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
Published: Nov 16, 2020, 3:16 pm • Updated: Nov 16, 2020, 3:19 pm By Kieran Nicholson A former Aspen businessman sentenced to 12 years in prison has been ordered to pay nearly $2.5 million in restitution to four victims swindled in a black-market marijuana scheme. Scott Pack was sentenced to prison in July by Arapahoe County District Judge Michael Spear under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act on a first-class drug felony conviction, as well as two counts of securities fraud. Arapahoe County District AttorneyScott Pack Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
Published: Oct 23, 2020, 1:41 pm • Updated: Oct 23, 2020, 1:42 pm By Kieran Nicholson An illegal marijuana grow, with 76 plants worth about $76,000, was seized Thursday in Pueblo West, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies responded to a report that tenants had altered the electrical system of a home, on the 1100 block of Camino Santiago, to bypass the meter, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. The residents could not be contacted Thursday, but a strong order of marijuana was noticeable near the residence. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
A Denver grand jury indicted seven people and 12 businesses for running an alleged international human trafficking operation comprised of illicit massage parlors and black market marijuana grow operations, the Denver District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. The seven individuals, indicted on 33 felony counts, are accused of “engaging in a pattern of racketeering in which the massage parlors were the nexus for running a complex pimping, prostitution, money laundering and tax evasion operation that generated millions of dollars,” the DA’s office said in a news release. “We believe that the defendants were hiding in plain sight as they trafficked women from China to engage in sex acts with customers of their massage businesses,” Beth McCann, Denver’s District Attorney, said in a stateme...
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.
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.
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.
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.