VIP Cannabis, 2949 W. Alameda Ave., has reopened after federal officials raided the shop on Nov. 21. (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)
The Miami jewel fence. The disgruntled former business partner. The shots fired into an upscale Adams County home.
According to new documents in federal court, they all led investigators to the same place: a Denver medical marijuana dispensary that was the focus of the largest-ever federal raids on Colorado’s legal cannabis industry.
The documents, which were filed as part of civil forfeiture cases and search warrants and made publicly available in recent weeks, reveal the staggering extent of the investigation into VIP Cannabis and its related operations. Combined with court documents unveiled earlier this week, they accuse VIP’s operators of overseeing an international drug-trafficking and money-laundering operation that included close to 30 people and spanned multiple licensed marijuana businesses and unlicensed residential grows.
But the documents also raise questions about why federal authorities, confronted with what they allege was such a widespread conspiracy, have chosen thus far to charge only four people in connection with the investigation. Those four — brothers Gerardo and Luis Uribe, attorney David Furtado and Colombian national Hector Diaz — face a handful of charges related to money-laundering and financial crimes. They could be sentenced to decades in prison.
Despite the new documents’ allegations of out-of-state marijuana smuggling, the four have not been charged with drug trafficking. They also have not been accused in court documents of having connections to Colombian drug cartels, something sources told The Denver Post after last …read more