DEA Bust Massive Illegal Weed Ring in Colorado

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Local Colorado authorities and the DEA conducted sweeping raids throughout Colorado early Thursday morning. According to multiple reports, the raids come as the result of a months-long investigation into an “organization” producing and transporting cannabis for which Arapahoe County courts have a sealed indictment.

The joint effort saw over 20 sites raided and 2,000-5,000 cannabis plants seized across five different counties. During the raids in Denver County, Douglas County, Arapahoe County, Elbert County and El Paso County, authorities also seized guns and cash.

The locations that were raided range in size from warehouses to residencies to local businesses. One of the major busts took place at a warehouse off of I-70 and Peoria in Denver, Colorado, known as a “warehouse district” area of Denver that harbors many licensed grow facilities.

Video shows authorities dumping piles of chopped marijuana plants into a Colorado National Guard vehicle:

Given the size of the warehouse–and the size of this vehicle used to transport seized plants–this operation was clearly operating at a large-scale.

At other locations, police discovered at least two hash oil labs and seized the extracts they found.

Multiple individuals have been arrested for their involvement thus far and the investigation into the organization remains ongoing. The DEA stated that the entire operation grew cannabis “exclusively for out-of-state use.”

9News reports that the organization was not necessarily a “cartel,” but rather a group of individuals working together in a sophisticated enterprise that shipped cannabis out of Colorado to other states. Mailing cannabis is a violation of federal law and ultimately led to this investigation.

The District Attorney for the 18th judicial district, George Brauchler, issued this official statement regarding the operation:

“I appreciate the public interest in the ongoing law enforcement operations. Because they are ongoing, we will not be making any statements until all operations are completed and everyone’s safety is ensured. At this point, ethics rules will limit the type of information that can be shared.”

However, 9News also discovered that a home raided during the operation in Castle Rock belongs to 52-year-old Michael Stonehouse, who was arrested and charged with “several marijuana-related charges, money laundering and charges related to racketeering.”

The Denver Channel reports that this investigation and the raids were not the result of new priorities at the federal level:

“A DEA spokesman said the investigation into the organization has been in the works for months and isn’t the result of any new directive from the Trump administration.”

This prodigious bust comes just days after Colorado’s House voted in favor of a bill designed to eradicate the state’s black market and set a 16-plant limit on home cultivation.

About Author

Barry has been writing about marijuana for over five years. Prior to joining Marijuana.com, Barry wrote about sports and music. His work has appeared on TIME, The Huffington Post, Deadspin, and elsewhere on the Internet. In his spare time, he enjoys disco and Kosher Kush.

10 Comments

  1. Frickin stupid Colorado greedsters! Wipe em out! To have legal marijuana and not have Sessions pull his “Trump” card everyone and I mean everyone better turn in these fucknuts!

  2. Your as right as rain Scott!! If there is ever going to be a time where cannabis is fully legal then we must do our due diligence and make sure the corruption stays out of the cannabis business. The feds will look at this and will fuel their fire to keep the cannabis prohibition in tact! Individuals like this HURT the rest of us that have worked so hard to get things changed!! I myself grow cannabis here in California but I follow the letter of the law and they leave me alone. This ensures that my friends and family who need cannabis for various reasons are not without and is grown safely and without pesticides. If i hear of anything like this going on i will not hesitate to turn those individuals in!

    • Lawrence Goodwin on

      The “corruption” of unregulated cannabis commerce can be easily eliminated by repealing all prohibitive “marihuana” laws at the federal and state levels. Take away the major incentives for “illegal growers” to profit in anti-weed hellholes like Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Idaho, New York, Minnesota, Alabama and many other states. If “the feds” were smart, by tomorrow, they would completely remove the word “marihuana” from the Controlled Substances Act—almost 80 years to the day since they imposed, for no valid reason, the anti-“marihuana” fraud and corruption on our society in the first place. Every passing day of law enforcement wasting taxpayer money, invading private property to seize and destroy PLANTS, are the real crimes.

  3. I agree with you Jim. I obey the law in its every ordinance as should all of us. There is a federal law against growing cannabis so you are not within the letter of the law. Please be careful as you begin to throw stones. Corruption is a problem we all must guard against ,most certainly when it harms us directly. I would like to see all laws against cannabis repealed and I think the most effective way is to stay within the law and work within the law. However we do not need another Judas Iscariot or profane zealot to give aid to the corrupt authorities. Try to make yourself perfect and you will serve the cause that will bring joy to the world. May God Bless You.

    • Thank you Ron for pointing that out, ok well I’m within the states letter of the law! The feds don’t know whether they are coming or going with respect to cannbis. One side says it’s a schedule 1 drug having not madicinal value (DEA) and the other side of the feds that have actually applied and recieved a patent for its madicinal uses ( DHHS). So really, I’m suppose to follow them when they infact can’t get their own stories straight. After serving my country for 22 years I’ve seen some shit you wouldn’t believe and damn glad the rest of the civilians out there have no clue or things could get a bit ugly! Anyway I stay within the state laws of California concerning cannabis production and use.

  4. You are welcome Jim. It is good that you stay within state law. However California is still part of the USA and you are subject to the federal law. I also served my country as a Marine, not as long a time as you but long enough to believe that things could get ugly. With the current federal power structure it probably will. You and I are on the same side and I am working hard to keep you safe. I think there is a wave of legal repression coming soon and am afraid many will suffer. I am also trying very hard to save my own skin as I need cannabis as medicine. So i think we should work together to bring joy to the world.

  5. The DEA NEEDS to be Wiped Out ! ! ! Start with a fresh batch of recruits,Nation Wide ! We The People Will Make the laws & Make Sure the Corutption Stops ! Only then can things be Fair ! I suffer Cronic Pain & cant get a Doxctor in 8 years to prescribe me anything Narcotic for pain,For Fear of Losing their Lience to Practice Medicine !….I use Medical Marijuana & am forced to the streets & the black market….We should not be left to suffer as The dea sees fit,as it is !…Something Has to change & The DEA is where we should Start ! Anyone ? ? ?
    Peace & Love,MEDICALMKE NELSON\ACTIVIST-ADVOCATE FOR OVER 30 YEARS !
    PARADISE,CALIFORNIA

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