Longform

A multimillion-dollar weed ring goes down -- and threatens to take a prominent restaurant owner with it

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While Tang could also be facing up to twenty years in prison, he's probably looking at a more lenient sentence, considering that he's a first-time offender. (Despite what the author of the tip-off letter suggested, Tang won't be looking at deportation: His lawyer points out that Tang is a U.S. citizen.) Also, since he wasn't charged with any drug-related offenses, unlike everyone else in the investigation, there's no minimum sentencing requirement for his crime.

"He was charged with what we had evidence for," says Dorschner from the U.S. Attorney's Office. In other words, the police never found enough proof to tie Tang to the marijuana being handled by the Dan Tang Organization.

"It is my wish, and that of all the chiefs, that eventually the whole issue will be put to rest and the individual who was responsible for the leak is identified," says Brighton Chief of Police Clint Blackhurst, who serves on North Metro's board of governors. "I don't know how this leak occurred. If it was from law enforcement, I hope we are able to find out who it was and take care of it. I think it's a shame that this has become the focus of the investigation.

"All of the bad stuff, I think it's a crying shame."

Check out a map of the Operation Fortune Cookie raids and a followup on one of the former drug homes at blogs.westword.com/latestword. Contact the author at [email protected].

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner