Marijuana: John Suthers hits Silver Lizard dispensary with 59-count indictment

The office of Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has just announced a 59-count indictment against The Silver Lizard, a Denver medical marijuana dispensary reviewed in March by our MMJ critic, William Breathes.

Among the claims: The center was selling marijuana for non-medical purposes to thirteen states and Washington, D.C.

The indictment, which is on view below, names Tanner John Kimberlin, 29, Jeremy S. Crawford, 23, Kyle Abt, 26, and Leon Cisneros, 49. They're accused of directing marijuana illegally to "Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia."

According to an AG office release, Kimberlin and Abt are accused of "participating in the cultivation of marijuana at their individual Elbert County homes, acting as suppliers, and utilizing members of the enterprise to assist in harvests." Kimberlin is also accused of "transporting approximately 100 pounds of marijuana from Colorado to Iowa as part of the distribution ring."

Cisneros, who owns The Silver Lizard, allegedly "used his illegally sell dispensary marijuana to undercover law enforcement officers," who "specifically told Cisneros the marijuana was destined for sale to out-of-state college students." He's also said to have "diverted nearly $16,000 in state sales tax money from his marijuana dispensary sales," and providing false information about total taxable sales after being confronted by a Colorado Department of Revenue employee last April.

Finally, Crawford "is alleged to be the central distributor who coordinated the majority of the interstate deliveries of the ring. The majority of the out-of-state drug deliveries were sent using the United States mail. He is also alleged to have grown marijuana in the basement of his home."

In his review, Breathes generally gave Silver Lizard strong marks, expressing particular enthusiasm for what he called "extremely well-made icewater bubble hash" but noting that the strain selection was modest. However, he added this interesting side note: "Originally in Five Points on Welton Street, the Silver Lizard preemptively moved to its current location last January because of its proximity to a school." Since January, as you know, U.S. Attorney John Walsh has issued three waves of closure-threat letters to dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools.

In a statement, Suthers makes specific mention of "Colorado's 'Medical' Marijuana," a report issued earlier this month by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. The folks behind the survey say it proves medical marijuana is being illegally diverted.

"This indictment and its allegation that medical marijuana was sold out of the back door of a dispensary for distribution to other states is consistent with information gathered by a recent Rocky Mountain HIDTA survey of Colorado law enforcement agencies," Suthers said. "It is becoming clear that as predicted in 2010 legislative hearings, Colorado is becoming a significant exporter of marijuana to the rest of the country."

Here's the indictment.

Silver Lizard Indictment

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana: Ten dispensaries targeted in third wave of U.S. Attorney closure letters."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts