Just heard from Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mark Techmeyer about the arrests last week of Cannabis & Co. owner Dmitry Genzer and associate Joseph Alejo, and the seizure of around 175 pounds of weed. In the process, we discovered some misinformation. Techmeyer says the busts came not as the result of a raid, as has been widely understood, but a sting.
According to Techmeyer, the West Metro Drug Task Force "got a tip that Genzer was illegally selling large quantities of high-grade marijuana. So they did an undercover operation to set up a buy with Genzer, where the buyer was looking for a source capable of seling multi-hundred-pound quantities of marijuana that would be transported out of state."
At the first meeting, a three-pound sample of marijuana was allegedly provided by Alejo, who wasn't directly connected to Cannabis & Co. to Techmeyer's knowledge. Then, a second rendezvous was arranged. Techmeyer notes that it didn't take place at the dispensary, but a location a few blocks away. At that time, the suspects are said to have arrived with 150 pounds of pot, which was promptly seized -- and Genzer and Alejo were placed under arrest.
Another twenty-plus pounds of marijuana was located at a storage facility in Lakewood. Techmeyer doesn't know if officers were able to track it down as part of the investigation, or if Genzer or Alejo let them know about its whereabouts.
As for the link to the dispensary, Techmeyer says the buys took place outside its day-to-day business operation, but there's suspicion that the business may have been somehow involved in the criminal enterprise. This inquiry will presumably be at the heart of the ongoing investigation by the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division.
Look below to read our earlier coverage.
Original post, 7:57 a.m. December 12: Last Wednesday, Westword began receiving reports about a raid on Cannabis & Co., at 44th and Tejon in Highland. But while we were able to confirm that such an action took place, the Denver Police Department and the West Metro Drug Task Force didn't provide us with any information. Then, on Friday afternoon, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office finally offered the basics on the busts of Dmitry Genzer and Joseph Alejo.
According to the JCSO, the West Metro Drug Task Force arrested Cannabis & Company owner Genzer and co-defendant Alejo on Wednesday. Approximately 150 pounds of what's described as "high-grade marijuana" was seized at the dispensary, with another twenty-plus pounds or so found in a Lakewood storage locker, bringing the total to about 175 pounds. Estimated street value: $1 million.
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Our calls last week to the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division also netted us no info -- but the sheriff's office notes that a MMED investigation of Cannabis & Co. is ongoing, with further actions against the dispensary pending. In the meantime, Genzer and Alejo were booked on suspicion of distribution, and conspiracy to distribute, marijuana in excess of 100 pounds. They bonded out on Thursday, but are expected to be back in court at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.
We've got calls in to the JCSO this morning, and will update this post once we receive a response. In the meantime, here are larger looks at the mug shots of Genzer and Alejo.
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More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division: No decision about Cherry Top Farms reopening."