Former Marijuana Enforcement Officer, Business owner Indicted in Enormous Colorado Trafficking Ring
A previous Colorado cannabis enforcement officer and a Denver-based cannabis entrepreneur currently the target of scams accusations were arraigned in connection with a suspected enormous unlawful cannabis trafficking ring that ran throughout the state. A grand jury cast a larger web after the March indictments of 16individuals in an apparently illegal marijuana trafficking ring led by Michael Stonehouse, and on June 7 arraigned previous Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division officer Renee Rayton and 3 others. Inning accordance with court records and the indictment acquired by The Cannabist, warrants were applied for the arrest of Rayton; business owner Scott Pack, whose companies Harmony Green LLC and HGCO LLC also were charged; and Travis Bridle and John Edward Loos, both growers and suspected intermediaries in the operation.
Pack, whose organisations hold 14 marijuana licenses, played a “essential” function in the Stonehouse drug-trafficking company accountable for illegally producing and selling countless dollars worth of cannabis throughout state lines, inning accordance with the grand jury’s indictment. Earlier this year– in a lawsuit initially reported in April by Denver Westword– Pack and Rudy Saenz, who was prosecuted in March, were taken legal action against by former investors who declared they lost near $1 million because of the duo’s deceptive scheme.
Private investigators declare that Rayton, a former Pitkin County Constable’s deputy who joined Colorado’s MEDICATION in 2015, left her enforcement department task in the fall of 2016 after Pack offered her a 6-month, $8,000-per-month position as a compliance consultant. She started working for Pack– and swiping money from illegal operations– barely two weeks after leaving her post, investigators declare, in violation of state licensing policies requiring a six-month “cooling off” period prior to former staff members can operate in a market related to their oversight.
Throughout her participation with Pack and his Harmony & & Green companies, Rayton also told a source that she understood compliance breaches and said “that she knew ‘( Department of Revenue) employees’ who would help the (drug-trafficking company) ‘get legal,’” inning accordance with the indictment.
Officials for the 18th Judicial District in Arapahoe County stated they do not comment on open cases. Load, Rayton, Bridle and Loos might not be right away grabbed comment.
A spokeswoman for the state’s marijuana regulative company stated through email that MED was “actively engaged” in the investigation. She likewise kept in mind that Rayton’s alleged prohibited activity occurred after she left her task on Nov. 2, 2016.
” Out of an abundance of caution, we asked for that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation carry out a formal and independent examination involving matters connected to the Marijuana Enforcement Department,” said Lynn Granger, interactions director for the Colorado Department of Profits, which oversees MEDICATION.
Rayton was accuseded of violation of state licensing authority and conspiracy to devote the growing of more than 30 plants of cannabis. She was launched after posting a $5,000 bond, court records reveal.
Pack was accuseded of 11 counts, all felonies: Pattern of racketeering under the Colorado The mob Control Act; conspiracy/endeavoring under COCCA; 2 counts of conspiracy to distribute or possess or intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of cannabis; conspiracy to commit cultivation of marijuana more than 30 plants; 2 counts of securities fraud; loan laundering; forgery; tax evasion; and effort to influence a public official. A warrant is out for his arrest, and his bond has been set at $1 million, court records reveal.
Load’s business were accuseded of: conspiracy to have with intent to disperse more than 50 pounds of cannabis; cultivation of 30-plus marijuana plants; and two counts of securities scams.
Bridle and Loos, who investigators alleged unlawfully cultivated cannabis for sale out of state, likewise served as middlemen in the deliveries and payments, the indictment declared.
Loos was charged with two counts: conspiracy to disperse or have with intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of cannabis and conspiracy to dedicate cash laundering, inning accordance with court records. Bridle was accuseded of conspiracy to distribute, circulation of 50 pounds or more of cannabis, loan laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Bond for each was set at $250,000 and warrants have actually been provided for their arrests.
‘ A front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking organization’
Pack and Saenz were 50-50 partners in Harmony & & Green LLC, an asset holding business and licensing service; Pack developed HGCO to acquire cannabis licenses, according to accusations in the June 7 indictment. During the course of two years, Load obtained 14 cannabis licenses for the company, however he kept Saenz’s identity as an owner masked from the state.
Load never disclosed to the state that his service partner was a guy who was barred from obtaining a cannabis license nor that there were financial investments made from out of state or country, investigators declare.
Harmony & & Green’s scheme involved obtaining investors for money to develop out warehouses that had been leased or purchased by Load’s daddy, Michael Load. The younger Load and Saenz deceived financiers, saying they had actually invested millions of their own loan when they had not, and they misrepresented a $678,000 annual profits stream that did not legally exist, according to the indictment.
Under the guise of a licensed Colorado cannabis service, Consistency & & Green and HGCO served as a front for the drug-trafficking company, private investigators declare, keeping in mind that the businesses never ever made a single legal sale of cannabis in their two years of operation.
Pack and Saenz drew in $1 million throughout 2016 from the prohibited distribution of marijuana, investigators declare.
“All this was done under Scott Pack and Rudy Saenz’s scheme of using HGCO LLC as a shell company, which basically supplied licenses that Consistency & & Green LLC could never hold,” investigators alleged. “Harmony & & Green LLC then scammed unknowing people into investing numerous thousands of dollars to a business, which never once offered legal cannabis in the state of Colorado, but supplied a front for a successful prohibited marijuana trafficking organization.”
The story has actually gathered national attention, and U.S. Attorney general of the United States Jeff Sessions mentioned The Denver Postin a current letter to Congress framing his opposition to the Rohrabacher-Farr Modification, which avoids Justice Department funds from being utilized for prosecutions in states with medical cannabis laws. The letter dated Might 1, 2017, was published Monday by MassRoots, a marijuana social media business.
“Drug traffickers already cultivate and disperse marijuana inside the United States under the guise of state medical marijuana laws,” Sessions wrote. “In specific, Cuban, Asian, Caucasian and Eurasian criminal organizations have actually developed cannabis operations in state-approved marijuana markets. The individuals in these organizations often find a location on their own within state regulative systems.”