Crime

Dan Tang and Operation Fortune Cookie: A primer on Colorado's largest -- and most unusual -- indoor weed bust

With the sentencing of prominent restaurant owner Dan Tang this coming Wednesday, March 31, it seemed like the long, strange tale of Operation Fortune Cookie would finally be coming to an end. What started more than two and a half years ago as a vague police tip blossomed into the state's largest and most unusual indoor weed bust, then imploded among suspicions of law-enforcement snitches, reports of paid-off politicians and outcry over secret internal investigations.

And now there's a new chapter: Last Friday, the lead agent in the investigation and his law-enforcement colleague filed a lawsuit against their police departments, superiors and the drug task force on which they worked the case, alleging that they faced retaliation for speaking out about corruption.

The sordid tale has more twists and turns than a John le Carré novel. To keep it all straight, here's a handy timeline, complete with links to Westword coverage and relevant multimedia, of what's surely the state's most unusual weed bust.

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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