Those of us whose knowledge of meth manufacture pretty much begins and ends with Breaking Bad will get a reality check from the following gritty, grungy, glamour-free photos of drugs, guns and more seized by the Metro Gang Task Force after busting not one but two alleged drug trafficking organizatio ... More >>
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 >>
Last November, we told you about marijuana raids conducted at multiple cannabis businesses, including VIP Wellness, by law enforcers from the DEA, IRS and Denver Police Department. This morning, Hector Diaz, a 49-year-old from Colombia, is due in court to be formally advised of the charges against ... More >>
In June 2013, we told you about a 71-count indictment accusing businessman Conley Hoskins and eleven others with defrauding investors who wanted to cash in on the state's booming medical marijuana industry. That move was taken by the Colorado Attorney General's Office, but now, the feds are getting ... More >>
As most of us know, nothing's ever really free. There are always strings attached -- and the more something's worth, the more strings there are. Just ask John Stitt, our latest Schmuck of the Week. He probably thought he'd hit the bureaucratic-snafu motherlode when his aunt's Social Security checks ... 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 blog post written several months after a 2011 listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe grown at Colorado's Jensen Farms caused 33 deaths and 147 hospitalizations, attorney Bill Marler, who represents 46 families in the case, wrote that criminal indictments after such incidents are as "rare as hen ... More >>
You've got to figure there are a lot of ways to piss off a member of a SWAT team. But here's one that's certain to be near the top of the list: Steal his guns while he's fighting cancer. That's what Keaton Bell did. And now, he's going to pay in a big way -- by spending as much as ten years behind ... 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.
Former Catholic priest Daniel Drinan made headlines after being charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver for masturbating in view of other passengers on a plane -- and they weren't his first. Even before this latest incident, Drinan, 63, had an entry on BishopAccountability.org, which descri ... More >>
For the last eight months or so, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado has been shutting down medical marijuana storefronts within 1,000 feet of schools by simply sending the dispensaries a letter and giving them 45 days to vacate or face possible seizure of their property and assets. The tactic m ... More >>
Update: Earlier this month, we told you about the strange case of David Moe, a veteran teacher at Paddington School whose bust on child pornography charges was seemingly echoed by word that he kept an 800-page journal outlining his creepy fascination with very young children; see our original covera ... More >>
In decrying the resources wasted in a failed prosecution of medical marijuana caregiver Josh Jones (a total he estimated at over $100,000), attorney Rob Corry suggested that law enforcers focus on meth rather than weed. Little did he know that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado and the Organized ... More >>
At this writing, the Hewlett fire near Fort Collins is almost 90 percent contained, with the soggy weather over the weekend helping to give firefighters the upper hand. The sooner they mop up the destructive blaze, the more quickly the meter stops running for James Weber, who'll be asked to help pa ... More >>
This week, the 25 medical marijuana dispensaries targeted in a second round of shut-down letters from the U.S. Attorney's office closed their doors, bringing the total number of shops that have done so to 47. But according to marijuana attorney Warren Edson, the majority of those MMCs have simply re ... 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 >>
A lot of us have hard drives crammed to bursting with photos and videos. But even by those standards, Jon Christopher Baker's array of images stands out. One computer apparently stored 30,000 photos and 1,400 videos. Oh yeah: The collection allegedly consisted of child pornography.
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: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.
"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 >>
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 >>
Michael Hancock.Although the uproar over reports allegedly linking mayor-elect Michael Hancock to the Denver Players prostitution operation has died down, one journalist -- Complete Colorado's Todd Shepherd, who broke the story in the first place -- isn't giving up. But he's hit a roadblock w ... 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 >>
Our interview with a representative of the U.S. Attorney's Office, who said the federal government makes no distinction between medical marijuana and pot grown for non-medical purposes, evoked some strong responses. Here's the thoughts of a reader who's been following news of dispensary raids ... More >>
The website for Green Garden Spa in Edgewater promises "Total Satisfaction" -- and the U.S. Attorney's Office believes that pledge extended to happy endings. Michelle Schramm, 55, surrendered to authorities following a grand jury indictment accusing her of using Green Garden and two other spa ... More >>
Paulin Ramirez.Last April, Leadville's Jamie Paulin Ramirez was accused of providing material support to terrorists. Nearly a year later, she's followed in the footsteps of her co-defendant, Colleen LaRose, and pleaded guilty. Look below to read a U.S. Attorney's Office release, as well as t ... More >>
Dan Tang.As we reported this week, a new court filing suggests Thornton cop Dante Carbone was the prime suspect in the internal leak that sabotaged Operation Fortune Cookie, the state's largest pot bust. That drug investigation ended meekly when federal prosecutors gave restaurateur Dan Tang ... More >>
Ronald Eugene Beach, 63, has been sentenced to twenty years in federal prison for sexual abuse of minors, and the stipulated facts included in his plea agreement on view below certainly present a strong, and disturbing, case for the sentence's length. The targets? His own granddaughters, who ... More >>
Large photos below.Last month, Ron Rocha, a volunteer baseball coach for Regis University, was on the losing end of an intra-squad matchup dubbed the Fall World Series. But he suffered an even greater defeat yesterday, when he was among 35 people named by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the bus ... 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 >>
Jane Norton has taken the kid gloves off, and delivers a major smack to Ken Buck, the Weld County District Attorney who's challenging her for the Republican Senate nomination, in a new radio commercial that's airing on KHOW this morning. There's even an ominous link to the Clinton administra ... More >>
Anwar al-Awlaki in an image broadcast on CBS.Colorado Attorney General John Suthers's name was recently juxtaposed with that of an extremely unsavory fellow -- serial killer Scott Lee Kimball. A front-page Denver Post story over the weekend noted that Suthers, who was then a U.S. Attorney, "s ... More >>
Chris Bartkowicz is taking a big risk.In February, HIghlands Ranch's Chris Bartkowicz showed off his home medical marijuana grow to Channel 9, after which he was promptly busted by the DEA -- an arrest that earned criticism from MMJ advocate Rob Corry and even Representative Jared Polis. Des ... More >>
Steven Clay Romero: Should he be sentenced to serve time in a kennel?Some of those designated Westword's Shmuck of the Week earn this honor for kinda silly reasons -- like, for instance, the condom website that implied Coloradans have small dicks. Not so Steven Clay Romero, named after he wa ... More >>
The feds don't seem to have found this to be funny...Looks like Longmont's Jason Kay will get a chance to suffer for his art. Last month, Kay came up with the idea of relabeling Gatorade bottles with photos of golfer Tiger Woods and his wife alongside the word "Unfaithful" and then placing t ... More >>
NYC terror plot suspect Najibullah ZaziUpdate, 1:08 p.m.: Mohammed Zazi has now been officially accused in Brooklyn of conspiring to obstruct justice in Colorado and New York, prompting a scheduled appearance in U.S. District Court at 2 p.m. today. Click here for the details and read a U.S. A ... 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 >>
Back in August, former Mormon bishop Shawn Merriman pleaded not guilty to mail fraud charges against him -- something that we predicted was "a temporary situation" in a blog about alleged swindles dating back to 1994. Bingo. Yesterday, Merriman pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one cou ... More >>
A Kristen Parker photo sure to strike a chord with Rose Medical Center patients. Outrage continues to build over Kristen Parker, a surgical tech who was formally charged in federal court yesterday with multiple counts related to the exposure of patients at Rose Medical Center to hepatitis-C. The ma ... More >>
The bust was almost blown after an internal leak, and Dan Tang -- his Heaven Dragon Chinese food beloved local politicians -- was implicated.
Betcha there's one of these babies in Mr. Thrasher's future. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Ronald F. Thrasher, formerly of Colorado Springs, has been on the run for the past fourteen years. That's not entirely true: He's probably rested a time or two since 1995, when he fled custody befo ... More >>
The ATF is gunning for Rocky's Autos co-owner John Rothrock.
Kwang Suk Campbell Walker wasn't just looking for a handout.