Last month's Spice bust in Loveland, in which a business owner and two employees were arrested for peddling a substance colloquially known as synthetic marijuana (even though it has little in common with cannabis), got plenty of attention. But the operation pales in comparison to a nationwide series ... More >>
Updates below: Westword has learned that the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is conducting raids at this writing at multiple marijuana businesses in the Denver area. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver has issued a statement confirming the ongoing operation, which is being conducted by the ... More >>
In a state like Colorado, where cannabis use and possession (of limited amounts) is now legal, you would think that synthetic marijuana wouldn't have much of a following. But you would be wrong. Five Fort Collins men -- Dien Le, Ponlue Pim, Pirun Pim, Ricky Pim and Kenneth Barnes -- were formally ... More >>
Moments ago, 9News projected that Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act had won approval from a majority of Colorado voters. Proponent Mason Tvert, speaking amid a boisterous celebration at the measure's victory party, puts the historic achievement in perspective.
The office of U.S. Attorney John Walsh has announced that it's sent closure-threat letters to ten dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools. This action represents the third wave of such missives: The first, in January, targeted 23 medical marijuana centers, while the second, in March, numbered 25. ... More >>
U.S. Attorney John Walsh has sent out two waves of closure-threat letters to medical marijuana dispensaries near schools -- and his spokesman reveals that a third wave is coming. But could Walsh's targets in Colorado expand to so-called marijuana superstores, as has taken place in California? His of ... More >>
One of the stranger marijuana stories of last year involved a federal raid on Cherry Top Farms dispensary -- one not prompted by an investigation into the center, but due to the targeting of Nathan Do, a man associated with a different MMC, who agents were following. Nathan, along with family member ... More >>
Monday was the deadline for 25 medical marijuana centers near schools targeted in a second wave of closure-threat letters from U.S. Attorney John Walsh to shut their doors -- and all of them did. A third wave is coming, promises Walsh's spokesman, who now stresses his boss's efforts to protect not ... More >>
At 2 p.m., hours before President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at CU-Boulder, members of Colorado's medical marijuana industry will stage a press conference at which they'll ask the commander in chief to order call off federal law-enforcers such as U.S. Attorney John Walsh, whose seizure-threa ... More >>
The brilliant minds attending the Colorado School of Mines can be included with those other young people who apparently need federal protection against drugs. Mile Highs and Lows caught up with Golden Alternative Care owner Craig Mardick briefly yesterday, who confirmed that his shop was included i ... More >>
Louis Hampers, the former pediatric ER doc who pleaded guilty to prescription drug fraud, was sentenced today to five years of supervised probation. Hampers, who was the subject of our cover story "Doctor Strange Love," must serve the first six months of that probation in home detention. He must als ... More >>
Reports about Stylios Trachanas's court appearance on Friday led with his role as a medical marijuana caregiver, as did a U.S. Attorney's Office release. But while his MMJ work will contribute to his sentence, he may not have been arrested at all if he hadn't used and possessed weapons forbidden to ... More >>
Earlier this month, attorney Rob Corry shared correspondence between him and U.S. Attorney John Walsh over seizure-threat letters sent to 23 dispensaries near schools. His latest gambit: A Freedom of Information Act request intended, in part, to determine if the actions are as popular as Walsh has i ... More >>
Update: On Friday, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced that it had sent another 25 seizure-threat letters to medical marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools; see details in our original coverage below. However, some language in the letters differed from the first mailing in January. Now ... More >>
Update:This week, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney John Walsh asking him not to send seizure threats to any Boulder medical marijuana dispensaries conforming to state and local land use regulations. When asked about the note, Walsh's spokesman said his boss woul ... More >>
Additional update below: Yesterday, attorney Rob Corry shared correspondence with U.S. Attorney John Walsh about seizure-threat letters sent to 23 dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools; get details and see the documents below. Corry interprets Walsh's letter as establishing what he calls "safe h ... More >>
Update below: The U.S. Attorney's Office under John Walsh has now confirmed that dispensaries near schools that received a seizure-threat letter have stopped doing business at previous locations. But this confirmation comes with new info. Although 23 letters were sent, one was subsequently withdrawn ... More >>
Yesterday, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner implied that the 23 dispensaries issued shut-down letters had stopped doing business at their previous locations, within 1,000 feet from schools. While some centers have relocated, others have shut their doors permanently.
Update below: Today is when 23 dispensaries receiving letters from U.S. Attorney John Walsh have been told to stop doing business at their current location or risk having their assets seized. At this writing, it appears that none of the targeted centers will fight this edict. Those that haven't bee ... More >>
Attorney Rob Corry unwittingly provided U.S. Attorney John Walsh with a make-my-day moment. Corry recently told 9News that seizure letters sent to 23 dispensaries near schools were a "colossal bluff." During a round of media interviews, Walsh begged to differ. "We are not bluffing," he says. "We sen ... More >>
Last week, U.S. Attorney John Walsh sent letters to 23 medical marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools, threatening seizure if they don't close by next month -- an act that caused centers to scramble for scarce new locations and made some owners consider shutting down for good. Ag ... More >>
John Walsh.Update: U.S. Attorney John Walsh's letter to 23 medical marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools, which threatens seizure and forfeiture if they don't stop operating within 45 days, is a blow to the state's MMJ industry. And spokesman Jeff Dorschner stresses that it won' ... More >>
During the raid.It's been almost a month since authorities raided Cherry Top Farms dispensary, even though the center wasn't the target of an investigation. But the MMC remains closed, and while Cherry Top reps met with the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division yesterday, there's still no ti ... More >>
"No kill, sir."Long Island-resident Varoujan Khodjamirian's flight home from the Denver area was presumably uneventful -- maybe because a judge ordered him to forego alcohol on the way back. Why this edict? Because Khodjamirian's previous time in the air devolved into a drunken, death-threat- ... More >>
Big pic below.Update: According to the manager at the Cherry Top Farms medical marijuana center, a raid yesterday targeted a contract grower, not Cherry Top or any of its employees. But because federal officers were involved, they seized all of the dispensary's live plants, medicine and more, ... More >>
This morning, the manager of Cherry Top Farms dispensary, raided yesterday by the DEA and other agencies, shared his version of the story, including his claim that the center was in compliance with all state regs. There's nothing to contradict this claim in info supplied by the U.S. Attorney' ... More >>
Hampers Louis Hampers, the former Children's Hospital ER doctor charged with writing 654 phony prescriptions (in addition to harassing women he met on adult websites), won't be doctoring or online dating any time soon. He pleaded guilty today to fourteen counts of prescription drug fraud, eac ... More >>
Brian Vicente.Medical marijuana advocates have been debating the intent of U.S. Attorney John Walsh's letter attacking portions of HB 1043, a bill intended to tweak MMJ regs that became law last year. Among the theories: The letter is a warning shot in what will be a full-scale federal effort ... More >>
A 2009 weed bust.U.S. Attorney John Walsh's letter objecting to elements of HB 1043, a bill meant to clean up parts of last year's medical marijuana rules, has alarmed activists and confused legislators like Senator Pat Steadman, the measure's co-sponsor. Could dispensary raids like those tak ... More >>
John Walsh.HB 1043, a bill sponsored by Representative Tom Massey and Senator Pat Steadman to clean up last year's medical marijuana regulations, seemed to be quietly moving toward passage -- but no more. A letter from U.S. Attorney John Walsh attacking aspects of the legislation call into qu ... More >>
Melinda Haag.While medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, it remains against U.S. law -- and the push and pull between the state and the feds continues to concern the local MMJ community. Case in point: The Haag memo, a letter sent in February by California-based U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag p ... More >>
Michael Bennet.Hot on the heels of Jared Loughner's homicidal attack on Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords comes word of a threat against the staff of Colorado Senator Michael Bennet. John Troy Davis has reportedly been arrested in the incident. Below, see the official statement from B ... More >>
Louis Hampers. Dr. Louis Hampers, the Children's Hospital ER doctor facing federal charges for writing 654 phony prescriptions, is headed back to Colorado. Hampers was arrested Tuesday in Virginia and appeared in court there this afternoon. According to Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. ... More >>
Louis Hampers. Dr. Louis Hampers, the Children's Hospital ER doctor charged with writing 654 fake prescriptions dating back to 2007 and continuing through April, will return to court Friday in Virginia, where he was arrested yesterday. According to Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Atto ... More >>
Bart Stupak.Update, 4:40 p.m.: David Hesch appeared in court this afternoon. Get the details of what happened below. A fifty-year-old Loveland man has been arrested for mailing a nutso letter written by his (apparently) nutso father to Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak. It threatens to paint ... More >>
"Geronimo!"It seems like only a couple of weeks ago that a passenger caused a flight to make an unscheduled landing in Colorado due to inexplicable behavior (including his insistence on shaving topless). That's because it was only a couple of weeks ago. Now, a similar act: A thus-far unnamed ... More >>
Doesn't money smell better when you stole it from the federal government?Thomas Quintin, 63, a Denver man with a long history of felony tax fraud, is facing new scrutiny after he walked away from his sentence at a half-way house and allegedly started a scheme investigators traced to caches to ... More >>
Dan TangOn Monday, prominent Thornton restaurant owner Dan Tang pleaded not guilty to one count of money laundering, a charge that arose from his alleged involvement in a massive indoor pot-growing ring. That ring was broken up last year during Operation Fortune Cookie, a police investigation and ra ... More >>
The bust was almost blown after an internal leak, and Dan Tang -- his Heaven Dragon Chinese food beloved local politicians -- was implicated.
Michael Jason Martinez lived for kicking up out-of-bounds powder at A-Basin, Vail and Aspen -- that and robbing banks. Martinez won't be doing much of either for a while, though, since two weeks ago he was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for his role in four Colorado bank robberies in 2007 ... More >>
Christina Szele. Colorado’s most famous accidental tourist, Christina Elizabeth Szele, has a date in a Colorado court today, but she won’t be here in person. And that’s too bad, because we’d love to hear what legendary U. S. District Judge John Kane (profiled in this 2001 Westword feature) ... More >>
A sticky situation
Here's to the good, the bad and the funny in Denver's most newsworthy newsroom.
The ATF is gunning for Rocky's Autos co-owner John Rothrock.
The Denver Mint is off limits to local authorities even when an employee's safety is threatened.
Kwang Suk Campbell Walker wasn't just looking for a handout.
The media scene in Boulder is getting wilder every day -- even without the Ramseys.