DenverPost / John Ingold / 1,7,2011
A drug ring fronting as a medical marijuana grow is alleged to have been based in the northern Front Range, with production hubs in Erie, Fort Collins, Longmont and Westminster. (Photo courtesy of the Colorado Attorney General's Office)
State law enforcement officials today unveiled an indictment against an alleged large-scale marijuana-trafficking ring the officials say were using Colorado's medical-marijuana laws as cover. It is the biggest pot operation to-date that officials have accused of exploiting medical-marijuana laws to shield black-market activities.
Nine people were named in the 21-count indictment announced this morning by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. In the announcement, Suthers said investigators from his office and the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force seized more than 110 pounds of marijuana and 687 cannabis plants during the investigation. The ring is alleged to have been based in the northern Front Range, with production hubs in Erie, Fort Collins, Longmont and Westminster.
The indictment alleges that the suspects kept binders of photocopied medical-marijuana patient records to make it look like they were acting as legal medical-marijuana caregivers. The indictment charges that the suspects were actually selling the pot illegally to people throughout Colorado and New Mexico.
Named in the indictment are: Richard Caleel, 34; Lakshman Garin, 28; Buck Glanz, 28; Magin Gomez, 30; Micah Krout, 29; Clayton McCann, 28; Charles Whitson, 28; Austin Leard, 29; and Laura Vanwormer, 44.
In a statement, Suthers said the indictment is a mark against Colorado's medical-marijuana system.
"This case, while disturbing, should come as no surprise to Coloradans who have been concerned that there is a nexus between Colorado's booming medical marijuana industry and illegal distribution of the drug," Suthers said. "This case counters the contention among marijuana advocates and some public officials that a regulated medical marijuana system will undercut the illicit market for marijuana."
When you have the profits provided by a black market,you have the entrepreneurs available to go for the green,,,,,
Remove the profits,remove the criminals.