Reports: some pot shops targeted in raids may have ties to organized crime

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DENVER -- Raids in Colorado medical marijuana operations are leading many to wonder if it's part of a much bigger federal investigation.

Details are starting to emerge about possible ties to organized crime.

A dozen marijuana operations were raided Thursday in metro Denver. Federal agents and local police conducted the operations.

They seized millions of dollars worth of pot and property. Officials are still tight-lipped about their investigation.

But one day after the raids, there are rumors about ties to Colombian drug cartels among other things.

Dave Young has more information in his video report.

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15 comments

  • quickdraw53

    how stupid you pot smokers are to think that making pot legal was going to stop the crime that goes along with pot. pot smokers are trying to make pot out to be a perfect little thing for everyone to use. wait till they start counting how many people are killed on the highways and how many kids get hooked on it while they are still in school. the cartel, the mob and any high level drug dealers will all get their far share and you can bet they will not pay taxes on it either. so colorado. how stupid do we and will we look to our country and the world

  • Travis

    So quick you want to keep it illegal so they can control the entire market? Pay no taxes at all? Mexico loses over 60m a year just from the legalization in Seattle and here. Guess what legal or not people will still smoke pot. Also factor in the amount we spend to arrest prosecute and jail simple possession charges. Federal prisons were made to house violent people. 75% of fed jails are drug convictions. Sure plenty of them are violent but some are not which means people get early released every single day. Organized crime buys into all sorts of legal business its not just ones that sell pot. Plenty of organized criminal elements own gun stores as well. But no one wants to stop that. You can bet that they own plenty of gun stores along the boarder. There is more gun stores in phoenix than McDonald. They raided a few gun stores in Kentucky a few years ago that were owned by white power groups. Guess what a class 3 is fairly easy to get in Kentucky. That means machine guns were sold on the black market. Military grade guns. Its called organized crime for a reason. It can’t be stopped. They will just buy a corner store or a bowling ally to wash money. Don’t worry about your kids smoking pot they would rather raid your prescription pills. Next comes heroin. You don’t see kids on the east coast dropping like flies from smoking weed. Its oxy and heroin.

  • Robert Brey

    “how stupid you pot smokers are to think that making pot legal was going to stop the crime that goes along with pot.”

    Yeah, organized crime activity belongs exclusively to the government. Gov Chickenpooper, Mayor Hankook and the Feds are bent that other mobsters are intruding on their territory, and possibly getting a piece of this action.

  • T

    Quickdraw is an idiot. He thinks pot is like cocaine or meth trafficking, lol. All those strung-out pot addicts causing accidents everywhere…..

  • Keith

    Well this is no surprise that organized criminals would take advantage of the opportunity to grow weed legally in Denver without threat of raids. So they can sell the legally grown pot anywhere they want. Saves tons of money not having to smuggle it across the boarder. There are no boarder patrols on the Colorado boarder, least not yet.

  • B

    I’ts not that they legalized it, it’s that our gov’t, in iy’s usual half-assed way passed a law without any guidelines. fine, legalize it but regulate it, tax it and sell it at liquor stores. This “medicinal mj” business is just BS.

  • Tony the Enforcer

    It’s not the legalization that’s a problem, it’s the regulation.

    Government regulation is often nothing short of “official” racketeering/extortion. Any time the government regulates something, they make it more difficult to obtain (and demand payment, aka “fees”, for doing so) – opening up the potential for a black market & criminal activity.

    “Illegal” organized mobs act the exact same way. Pay them a “protection fee”, do things the way they say and they will protect your business. Cross them and they will come after you and put you out of business.

    How can people not see that the government has just taken over what the mobs used to do? It’s why the government goes after “mobsters” so aggressively, the mobsters are intruding on their territory. The government is a racket. They are not here to protect or save us, they are here simply to get their cut, their “piece of the action”.

    Colorado government is so corrupt. Hickenlooper is just the area mob boss for the state, sanctioned by the Feds. Seriously, think about it folks.

  • Ti10

    “Details are starting to emerge about possible ties to organized crime.”…and just who do you think are releasing these “details”, sounds like justification by the raiders.

  • Mike

    All of you who think legalization of pot is the wrong move, tell me how the war on pot has worked. Colorado and Washington raids are weeding out the bad apples. Thats good for business. Crime rates for pot has not changed with its legalization. Go check the reports before you start speaking out about something you obviously know nothing about. Its working and you wanted it to fail. To bad.

  • Tinkey McGhee

    ‚ÄĚColorado and Washington raids are weeding out the bad apples. Thats good for business.”

    Uh, except that the raids are being carried out by the “bad apples”. The government is so corrupt. The government is the “organized crime” they are purporting to bust.

    The public just need to start growing their own, and cutting the government out of their profit & racketeering scheme via these “licensed” dispensaries.

    Legalization isn’t the problem, regulation is. Show me most any regulated industry, and I’ll show you corruption and increased criminal activity on behalf of the government.

    And the public is falling for it hook, line, and sinker. Suckers!

  • Tommy Louanignmib

    “Crime rates for pot has not changed with its legalization.”

    Really?

    Well I’m not against legalization, but your theory holds no water.
    Just a few quick FACTS:

    ————————————————————————————-
    10.26.2012 at 10:31 AM – COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — A recent trend of burglaries at medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado Springs continued early Friday morning.

    Colorado Springs Police officers did not release a lot of information but said there were multiple people involved in the 12:15 a.m. theft on Durango Drive.

    The suspects broke into the building and stole several marijuana plants.

    ———————————————————————————–
    Friday, August 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm – Kids break into Colorado dispensary, make off with thousands of dollars in herb.

    ———————————————————————————–
    September 4, 2013 4:19 PM – Three people have been charged in connection with robbing a medical marijuana dispensary.

    Police rushed to a medical marijuana dispensary in the 4400 block of Zenobia Street on Aug. 22 on reports of a robbery in progress.

    ———————————————————————————
    09/05/2013 – Denver police are searching for two people who broke into a marijuana dispensary early Monday morning and stole more than $250,000 worth of marijuana.

    The theft occurred at the Fox Street Wellness at 4773 N. Fox St.

    ———————————————————————————–

    These few examples of thefts of MARIJUANA would not have happened, could not have happened, without the legalization of medical marijuana, thus the very existence of these dispensaries being burglarized, thus the new opportunities for crime.

    Therefore crime rates HAVE changed with the legalization of pot (these crimes could not have occurred without the dispensaries). Yes, black market pot crimes have always existed, and still do (just go to Civic Center Park and hang out for a few hours), but now there exists the increased opportunity for people to commit crime at DISPENSARIES, thus the increased crime. Opportunities that did not, could not, exist prior to legalization.

    These crimes were exclusively targeting dispensaries. How could that happen without dispensaries?

    Did I write this slow enough for you to understand?

    Perhaps it is you who should check the reports prior to speaking about something you don’t know.

    Again, I’m not against legalization, but your argument is sadly deficient.

  • Howard Moustaficant

    Let me see if I have this right. The Colorado government has departments and agencies in place to regulate and license this industry. Part of that regulation is to ensure criminals aren’t opening & operating dispensaries.

    The Colorado government, through these departments and agencies, is collecting “fees” for registration and approval of these dispensaries. The Colorado government is collecting revenue through taxes from these dispensaries. The Colorado government is therefore benefiting financially from this alleged criminal activity.

    If some of these dispensaries are tied to “organized crime”, does that not make the Colorado government an accessory to their alleged criminal activity? Does that not make the Colorado government just as guilty?

    If a private citizen were found to have ties to organized crime, even if they didn’t know of the ties (ignorance of the law is no defense), the government would surely prosecute them. Yet the Colorado government is supposed to be held to a higher degree of due diligence in the licensing of these dispensaries, through the regulation process.

    The Colorado government should have known of these alleged “organized crime” ties in that regulatory, investigative, due diligence process, pre-licensing process.

    So there again, the Colorado government is an accessory to this alleged criminal activity, should it prove to be true.

    Me thinks someone just refused to pay the Governor and his goons their extortion money, thus the goons raided these businesses – much like the “illegal” organized mobsters would have.

    The Colorado government is so corrupt. They are the true “organized crime cartel”.

  • Charlie Q Poupitraynomig

    Ok Fox31, you claim to be investigative journalists, here’s what I really want to know:

    If it’s liquor in the front, and poker in the rear…..where does the weed fit into the mix?

    Answers, we need answers here.

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