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money laundering

21 indicted in Colorado in connection with international black market marijuana and money laundering scheme

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...

Seven indicted for allegedly running prostitution ring out of Denver massage parlors

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...