Hector Diaz to be charged for guns, dropping $500K in Colombian cash on Colorado pot biz
Last November, we told you about marijuana raids conducted at multiple cannabis businesses, including VIP Wellness -- which (update) was reportedly raided again yesterday -- by law enforcers from the DEA, IRS and Denver Police Department.
Hector Diaz shows off his hardware. Photos, videos and documents below.
This morning, Hector Diaz, a 49-year-old from Colombia, is due in court to be formally advised of the charges against him related to the sweep -- including dropping more than $500,000 on the Colorado pot industry and weapons beefs he considers to be unconstitutional. Photos, videos and more below.
In November, the U.S. Attorney's Office put out the following statement about the raids: ""The Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, the Denver Police Department and state and local law enforcement are today executing lawfully obtained search warrants and seizure warrants."
The businesses raided last November included marQaha, at 3896 Morrison Road.
In the aftermath of this announcement, more information filtered out about the targets of the raid: Diaz, as well as Luis Uribe, 28, Gerardo Uribe, 33, and Denver attorney David Furtado, 48, who has publicly stated that the quartet has no connection to South American drug cartels and aren't drug traffickers.
The U.S. Attorney's Office tells a different tale, based on a superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury on April 22; the document has been unsealed but hasn't been formally released at this writing.
In 2013, prosecutors maintain that Gerardo Uribe filed documents locally to incorporate a firm with a name that hardly smacks of pot: Colorado West Metal, LLC. The registered agent in the transaction was Furtado, while Diaz was listed as the "person responsible for forming the corporation."
Around this time, Furtado is said to have facilitated the purchase of a property on Smith Road using "$449,980 in U.S. currency" representing "proceeds of specified unlawful activity, namely the cultivation and sale of marijuana, as derived through the operation of the VIP Wellness Center, operated by Gerardo Uribe, Luis Uribe and others," the U.S. Attorney's Office maintains.
A reminder: While marijuana businesses are legal in Colorado when owners follow state regulations, they remain prohibited under the federal system.
The indictment also alleges that Diaz, Furtado and Gerardo Uribe transferred $424,000 from a bank in Colombia to Colorado West Metal, with additional transfers of $100,000 and $20,000 following. The intent, the feds believe, was to "promote the cultivation, manufacture and distribution of marijuana."
Another photo from the November 2013 raid.
In the view of the U.S. Attorney's Office, this last action constitutes money laundering.
Continue for more about the pending court appearance of Hector Diaz, including multiple videos and documents.