Marijuana: Colorado NORML finds timing of pot raids suspicious

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Last week, the DEA and the IRS, aided by local officers, conducted raids on multiple marijuana businesses in Denver and Boulder.

While the feds aren't sharing details of these actions, info has surfaced about a potential link to Juan Guardarrama, aka "Tony Montana, a Miami con who, until recently, held a Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division license. Nonetheless, Colorado NORML thinks the timing of the raids is suspect. Details below.

In June 2012, as William Breathes reported last week, Guardarrama, one of ten "target subjects" named in the raids, was reportedly busted "as part of an ongoing, four-year investigation into jewelry heists and the selling of hot merchandise" for attempting to buy "about $500K in what he was told was stolen jewelry from undercover cops.

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Juan Guardarrama's booking photo.
"During the transaction," Breathes wrote, "Guardarrama also allegedly explained that he was part of a medical marijuana operation in Colorado. He's said to have asked the cops out of the blue if they could help move 'some of his Colorado-grown medical marijuana' into the Sunshine State."

After his bust, Guardarrama is said to have told authorities about some of his cohorts in the jewelry-related crimes in order to get a lesser sentence; he was facing up to thirty years in stir, but ultimately received a ten-year jolt. As a result, Breathes wonders if the man whose nickname refers to the 1983 movie Scarface sang to the feds about criminal activities in the Colorado MMJ industry, too.

Since the publication of our earlier piece, Breathes received confirmation from MMED spokeswoman Julie Postlethwait that Guardarrama "had a support occupational license from August 16, 2011 to August 16, 2013, when he allowed it to expire."

This last clause implies a personal choice, but that probably wasn't the case. By this past August, after all, Guardarrama was in jail.

Even if the targets of the federal raids were actually involved in criminal behavior, though, Colorado NORML is unhappy about their possible residual effects. A statement issued earlier today argues that the operation "has undoubtedly struck fear in the hearts of legal, compliant, State-licensed marijuana business owners a mere six weeks before many will begin retail sale to adults 21 and older in Colorado."

The implication? Even if the raids were justified, their timing -- and the feds' lack of transparency about them -- has a potentially negative impact on the roll out of a new industry the feds pledged not to disrupt just a few short months ago.

Meanwhile, Gerardo Uribe, represented by attorney and Colorado NORML board member Sean McAllister, continues to protest his innocence despite his business, VIP Cannabis, being raided. Within recent days, Uribe has made similar claims 9News. Now, McAllister has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney John Walsh again emphasizing that Uribe has done nothing wrong and asking for the return of his property.

That presumably includes what 9News estimates as marijuana valued at $2 million. We've included the letter below as well, supplemented by the station's report.

Continue to read the complete Colorado NORML statement about the recent marijuana-business raids, plus attorney Sean McAllister's letter to U.S. Attorney John Walsh on behalf of another named target, Gerardo Uribe, and a video.


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68 comments
for_the_punx415
for_the_punx415

get ready for more of THIS SHIT....Mexicans will weasel their way into the industry and send all that money back to the homeland to their CARTEL LORDS AND MASTERS....just NUKE MEXICO ALREADY!!!! nuke everyone else too. they are already within the cannabis industry....just look at some of the stores in Pueblo and the people that they hire to work there. SCUM!!! budtender looks like those little cholo figures you get in the coin machines at the grocery store.

Donkey_Hotay_is_God
Donkey_Hotay_is_God


These out-of-state and international Cuban and Colombian criminal gangs all coming to Colorado must be that **Marijuana Tourism** the nattering ninnies have been yammering about.

How fucking special.

.

Aaron Rutan
Aaron Rutan

and uncalled for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Doug Hubka
Doug Hubka

So NORML doesn't worry about Columbian Drug Lords taking over the Colorado MJ Business. They are just worried about the timing. What complete nonsense.

Gipke Mikel
Gipke Mikel

Yeah, just like everything done by our Government. It was defiantly planned time.

Paul Malczewski
Paul Malczewski

I'm suspicious any time the DEA and IRS get involved in anyones business.

C.m. Rigdon
C.m. Rigdon

I still think this entire mess is the State of Colorado's fault. Did any one read that audit the state was given? The state failed miserably at its end of the bargain which was oversight! Let in Columbian drug lords, set up shop. Then the feds gave that memo and two weeks later bam, the state failed us on our cannabis people!

Jim Hayes
Jim Hayes

This just shows that the Feds still don't want Marijuana legalized!

John Vincent
John Vincent

Those dispensaries didn't play ball. Less sketchy people with poop weed that isn't flushed of pesticides before they sell it.

Abby Hauck
Abby Hauck

I always think everything's suspicious, which is why I'm still alive.

Jim Lewis
Jim Lewis

They aren't done idiots, watch yo back

John Scruggs
John Scruggs

"The Man is wise, you are still an outlaw in his eves."

Mike Lopez
Mike Lopez

They wanted free weed before they had to pay like the consumer will

For-Donkey-Hotay
For-Donkey-Hotay

This one is for DONKEY_HOTAY, vindicated at last by the CO-Bar... It was a long time coming, but now here is the official slapdown of marijuana McLawyer ethics by their own ethics committee, in a Formal Opinion adopted Oct. 21, 2013 and just released:

Colo. Bar Association Ethics Committee Says Marijuana Lawyers Violate Rules of Professional Conduct

http://www.cobar.org/tcl/tcl_articles.cfm?articleid=8370

The Ethics Committee of the Colorado Bar Association (CBA) has formally ruled that it is a violation of ethics rules for attorneys to advise or assist their clients in violation of federal marijuana laws, even if the activities are legal under state law. According to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct 1.2(d), "a lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal...."

The Opinion states that, despite the fact that "Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment decriminalizing the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use on November 6, 2012", " marijuana continues to be illegal under federal law for all purposes."

The CBA Ethics Committee Formal Opinion states:

"Nevertheless, unless and until there is a change in applicable federal law or in the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer cannot advise a client regarding the full panoply of conduct permitted by the marijuana amendments to the Colorado Constitution and implementing statutes and regulations. To the extent that advice were to cross from advising or representing a client regarding the consequences of a client’s past or contemplated conduct under federal and state law to counseling the client to engage, or assisting the client, in conduct the lawyer knows is criminal under federal law, the lawyer would violate Rule 1.2(d)."

Read it and weap, McLawyers!!! Thanks to Donkey_Hotay for calling this one from the beginning! Too bad none of them listened.

http://www.cobar.org/tcl/tcl_articles.cfm?articleid=8370

UneducatedSchools
UneducatedSchools

"Colorado NORML finds timing of pot raids suspicious"......No shit, sherlock....

Puerile.Pot.Punk
Puerile.Pot.Punk


How many other sleazy scumbag lawyers have infiltrated the marijuana industry?

A lawsuit filed last month in Denver claims Gerardo Uribe and two other men named in the search warrant, Luis Uribe and Felix Perez, have not made good on hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to three men for the purchases of a dispensary on East Colfax Avenue and a grow warehouse on Elizabeth Street. The suit also alleges that the Uribes and Perez were suspected of hiding profits and product from their marijuana businesses and selling marijuana out of state.

"Marijuana product is unaccounted for, proceeds from the dispensary are unaccounted for and Plaintiffs assume that the Defendants have stolen product and money from them," the lawsuit states.

Another section of the suit alleges: "Plaintiffs believe that the Defendants may be transacting business with people in other states and do not want to reveal what the businesses are really making or who they are conducting business with."

One plaintiff in the lawsuit is Jared Bringhurst, who is named as one of the investigation's targeted subjects in the search warrant obtained by The Post. Bringhurst wrote in an e-mail to The Post late Thursday that he has no involvement in the case and has sold all of his interests in the raided businesses.

Other lawsuits also provide a glimpse into the high-dollar business of marijuana in which the raid targets were involved.

A lawsuit filed this year in Jefferson County accuses businesses controlled by Luis Uribe and another person named as a target in the search warrant, Carlos Solano, of not paying up on the purchase of a cultivation facility. In a settlement reached in September, Uribe and Solano agreed to pay $90,000 to the plaintiffs.

In both suits, the defendants were represented by attorney David Furtado — who is also named as a target in the search warrant. 

In 2011, a Douglas County woman who said Furtado set up a marijuana-growing operation in her garage sued Furtado, Gerardo Uribe, Solano and others, alleging she was misled. Furtado acknowledged setting up the grow in her garage — even though it was against Douglas County zoning rules to do so. But he denied misleading the woman.

Furtado was eventually awarded more than $600,000 in damages and attorney's fees after the woman failed to respond to his counter-claims, court records show.


http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24597512/colombian-arrested-feds-marijuana-raids-that-seized-guns

thevinend
thevinend

question is:does media report events or steer events? 6-8 weeks ago news, celebrities and 'science' were claiming old herb fallacies-geteway drug, addictive, harmful.
And the Diaz story? I dunno-looks like a DEA agent, wearing his own hat.

elkabong
elkabong

Mendacious Mason would benefit from skipping a few meals.

lol!

nativespirit101
nativespirit101

@Donkey_Hotay_is_God You talk like you know something well you don't the lawyer idea was obvious Duhh   you keep talking like you are and your going to tell on yourself.  This is all going down the drain soon Its still illegal and they want the money and the weed back wake up your not as smart as you think  I know for a fact your  not God nor are you very smart your just being a smart ass and thinking you know what you are talking about well your wrong I have spoken to  lawyers on this and they say we are going to lose this fight. Because of the comments from people like you Hotay  And the stoner attitude This is not a game the Gov. wants the control back and they ill get it None of you will spend a dime to fight this all you want to do is get stoned I have spent thousands on this confrontation. I didn't know much at first so I hired Lawyers to teach me. I have plenty of Money to do so..    You all better wake up  And really I don't care if any of you read this or not  I got mine...!!! 

nativespirit101
nativespirit101

Tell them and yes I know he's on facebook don't care its you all I am trying to get through too.  He is right thoe NORML has been against the cartel on this since the beginning  they are trying to get rid of the cartel don't you see damn stop smoking and read a book..

Donkey_Hotay_is_God
Donkey_Hotay_is_God

@Doug Hubka = +2 points


NORML = the duplicitious lobbying arm of the Marijuana McLawyers.

.

_Hoosier_Daddy_
_Hoosier_Daddy_

@For-Donkey-Hotay

Now if they would only SUSPEND and/or DISBAR those UNETHICAL self-serving shysters, and more importantly -- require them to forfeit and return ALL the millions $$$ in legal fees they obtained from unlawfully AIDING and ABETTING the Continuing Criminal Conduct of their Drug Dealing Clients !!

Under Colo.RPC 1.2(d), "a lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal. . . ." 

1000s of ethical lawyers KNEW this behavior was UNETHICAL from the beginning, and rightfully refused to engage in such unlawful conduct. 

Those few amoral greedy scumbag shysters who ignored the Code should NOT be rewarded by being allowed to retain their law license, much less the hundreds of thousands of ill-gotten $$$ they collected.

Disgorge the $$$ !! -- Disbar the Unethical Shysters !!


elkabong
elkabong

Donkey_Hotay is GOD !!

ALL HAIL DONKEY_HOTAY !!!

.

Puerile.Pot.Punk
Puerile.Pot.Punk

@Puerile.Pot.Punk Better question: How many stupid sock puppet screen names can I come up with to carry on conversations with myself and "like" my own comments?

Puerile.Pot.Punk
Puerile.Pot.Punk

@thevinend 

Michael Roberts + Westweed = shills for the Big $$ Dispensary Cartels and their paid Marijuana McLawyer mouthpieces.

Stop the Corporate Commercialization of Cannabis!

PPP

nativespirit101
nativespirit101

@elkabong No he is not God and you better pray for yourself for even saying that   you all are acting like children its just weed  and its still illegal its the south against the north idea  it will all come to an end someday soon  you have people acting like him and kids doing stoner videos whats wrong with you all no one even talks about how it helps them with their illnesses just about getting stoned that's a slap in the Governments face!!   All it takes is for them to say close them all and its all over.  I forget how dumb some people still are in 2013.  By the way I was on the board of NORML for years  you all are going to cost us this battle we have waged for years  But that's just my opinion  so slam me all you want its all you can do !!

Donkey_Hotay_is_GOD
Donkey_Hotay_is_GOD

@elkabong Donkey_Hotay is GOD !! ALL HAIL DONKEY_HOTAY !!!


                  ===> Jah Donkeyhotai !! <===

.

nativespirit101
nativespirit101

@Donkey_Hotay_is_GOD@elkabong Don't you all get it   who do you think sold all the weed when it was illegal???  the Gov>> Duhh   they want the control back and they will get it. All any of you talk about is getting stoned they have the money to take this away from us and they are going to.  How dumb does pot make you   looks like really dumb   dry out a little and look at the big picture  Obama says if you have a script I wont waste the time  then he turns around an raids more dispensary's then any prez>>  its money and power people  they want it back  we can get rid of Osama but not the cartel huummmm  you all need to read up on what's really going on here duhh

_Hoosier_Daddy_
_Hoosier_Daddy_

@fognl7 

Why is marijuana so harmful and dangerous that YOU voted to EXCLUDE EVERY ADULT under 21 from any lawful access to recreational pot, leaving them completely exposed to all existing felony marijuana penalties ?


fognl7
fognl7

Does that mean you think it should be legal to grow your own?

thevinend
thevinend

@Puerile.Pot.Punk @thevinend For healthful purposes; horticulture is great for mind, body and soul!
The person with cancer may need a little help but, I know ppl who aid others for -0- or what they can afford.

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