DENVER METRO AREA — Authorities in the Denver metro area have busted an organized crime ring that involved distributing illegally grown marijuana to other states and stolen high-end cars.
On Wednesday morning, investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and CATPA Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (C-MATT) executed eight search warrants on suspected illegal marijuana grow houses and locations where stolen vehicles were found in the Denver metro area.
The search warrants came in the wake of a six-month investigation initiated by C-MATT.
With the help of the DEA, C-MATT identified an organized criminal enterprise, including multiple illegal grow operations in the Denver metro area.
Several individuals were operating a scheme that involved illegal marijuana cultivation and distribution to people out of state, as well as stolen high-end and luxury vehicles with switched VIN numbers.
The states of Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Arizona, Maine and California, in addition to Colorado, were involved in this investigation. About 17 stolen vehicles were recovered in connection to this case, with a total value of $1.2 million.
“Criminal organizations use the marijuana industry in Colorado to operate in not only black-market marijuana cultivation and distribution, but also many other criminal related activities,” said William McDermott, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Denver Field Division. “This case is another example that demonstrates the great working relationship that the DEA has with state and local law enforcement throughout the Denver metro area.”
C-MATT is made of detectives from the Colorado State Patrol, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Denver Police Department, Aurora Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Wheat Ridge Police Department, National Insurance Crime Bureau, Colorado Attorney General’s Office, and attorney’s offices with Denver, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County and Adams County.
The 18th Judicial Attorney’s Office will be the prosecuting agency for this case.
As of Wednesday at 11 a.m., there was no information on arrests or charges.