Federal authorities raided VIP Cannabis in Denver, November 21, 2013. (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file photo)
Officers are investigating VIP Cannabis at 2949 West Alameda Avenue in Denver, November 21, 2013. (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)
Federal agents on Friday arrested individuals in connection with high-profile raids on Colorado medical marijuana businesses, and a lawyer for one of the raid targets confirmed his client has been indicted.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner said the arrests were carried out by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS Criminal Investigations and the Diplomatic Security Service.
“Who has been arrested and the nature of the charges are currently the subject of a sealed indictment, which won’t be publicly available until Monday,” Dorschner said in a statement. He did not disclose how many people were arrested.
Officers remove evidence from VIP Cannabis in Denver, November 21, 2013. Federal authorities executed search warrants and seizure warrants at multiple Denver-area medical marijuana facilities, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file photo)
Denver attorney Sean McAllister said Friday his client, Gerardo Uribe, was indicted. McAllister said he could not comment further because the indictment remains sealed and the details are unknown.
“My client continues to assert he conducted his business in a way that was consistent with Colorado marijuana laws,” McAllister said in a statement. “He intends to vigorously defend himself.”
Uribe has identified himself as manager of VIP Cannabis, a Denver dispensary that was targeted in the November raids, and owner of a marijuana infused products manufacturer.
On Nov. 21, federal agents executed search warrants on 14 businesses — including dispensaries and grow facilities — and two homes, carting away plants and seizing records. A search warrant identified 10 men as “target subjects” connected to the operation.
Sources told The Denver Post that the raids were chasing possible connections to Colombian drug cartels, which several of the targets have denied.
Prosecutors described Uribe’s alleged role in the organization in a court filing in a weapons case of a Colombian national, Hector Diaz, arrested during the raids. Prosecutors called Uribe “head of a marijuana drug distribution organization” and among the targets of a long-term investigation into money laundering and other offenses.
On Friday, 9News published photos online of another raid target, Denver attorney David Furtado, being led away by DEA agents.
Furtado, who could not be reached for comment Friday, has previously denied wrongdoing. He has described himself as a “people’s attorney” who represented the Uribe family in business dealings and later bought stakes in a dispensary and a grow operation.
Eric Gorski: 303-954-1971, [email protected] or twitter.com/egorski
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