Denver Police arrested a local businessman earlier this month for allegedly using his high-end cigar boutique on East Colfax to sell meth and other drugs. Matthew Rosen, 44, made an appearance in county court Wednesday on fifteen felony charges for drugs seized from his cigar shop What's Knot to Love at 907 East Colfax and from his home in Cherry Creek.
The 4,000 square-foot store next door to the Ogden Theater is the largest cigar shop in Colorado, with several walk-in humidors, leather couches, flat-screen televisions and a coffee bar. The space also features a baby grand piano often used by Leftover Salmon pianist Bill McKay for in-store performances. Rosen, who could not be reached for comment, is a big fan of jam-band music (as postings on his Youtube account reveal) and his store was frequented by the hippie crowd along with cigar aficionados. Criminal records show he served several years in federal prison in the '90s on a drug distribution conviction. He was also on probation for a 2007 charge of brandishing a weapon and resisting arrest in Denver.
Rosen, after his March 5 arrest
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Much of the store's profits came from booming Internet sales that put Rosen on the map nationally among cigar sellers. But in January, What's Knot to Love was seized by the Colorado Department of Revenue for a failure to pay thousands of dollars in back taxes. A public auction of the store's walk-in humidor and rare cigars planned for January 23 was canceled after Rosen paid the debt. In a February article in Life on Capitol Hill, Rosen blamed the tax issues on "health issues" and "a major employee theft." Police began conducting undercover stings on the location after receiving tips that Rosen was secretly selling weed and meth along with cigars. Sources familiar with the store tell Westword that the basement was often used as an after-hours spot for all-night parties. Officers posing as customers made several drug purchases from Rosen, according search warrants filed for the property.
Police also raided Rosen's house at 51 South Harrison Street and discovered several marijuana plants, cocaine, meth and $10,000 in a suitcase. Rosen is currently out on a $75,000 bond. His next hearing is scheduled for March 15.
Below are two Youtube videos of Rosen discussing his love of cigars.