DENVER (AP) — A mammoth marijuana trafficking ring that pretended to be growing weed for sick people was instead illegally shipping the drug to a half-dozen other states and bilking investors, including former NFL players, Colorado officials announced Wednesday.
A Denver grand jury indicted 62 people and 12 businesses in the case that involved federal and state agents executing nearly 150 search warrants at 33 homes and 18 warehouses and storage units in the Denver area.
“The black market for marijuana has not gone away since recreational marijuana was legalized in our state, and in fact continues to flourish,” state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said in a statement.
The indictment targets the largest illegal marijuana operation discovered since Colorado legalized recreational pot in 2012, Coffman said.
It said the enterprise produced more than 100 pounds of illegal pot each month for shipment to Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and other states.
The ring operated from 2012 until 2016 and raked in an estimated $200,000 a month, Coffman said.
The defendants were charged with 31 felony counts of money-laundering, tax evasion and other financial crimes. Most are now under arrest awaiting trial dates in Denver District Court.
Prosecutors said that one of the conspirators, Connor Brooks, duped friends, including two former pro football players, into investing in his scheme.
Brooks got money from Erik Pears, a free agent most recently with the San Francisco 49ers, and Joel Dreessen, a former Denver Broncos tight end, the indictment…
click here to read more.