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Federal Agents Conduct Multiple Raids On Denver Pot Businesses

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DENVER (AP/CBS4) — A Denver medical marijuana dispensary and three other buildings linked to four men accused of laundering money from Colombia to buy a grow house were raided Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney spokesman Jeff Dorschner confirmed that federal agents executed search and seizure warrants, including one at VIP Cannabis, as part of an ongoing investigation but declined to elaborate.

VIP Cannabis is located at Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue. The other buildings that were raided are located at South Jason Street near Lipan, 48th Avenue and Brighton Boulevard and 43th Avenue and Thompson Court.

A door to a grow house that was raided at 43th Avenue and York Street (credit: Eddie Castro)

A door to a grow house that was raided at 43th Avenue and York Street (credit: Eddie Castro)

One Denver industrial building is linked to one of the suspects, David Furtado, an attorney.

Video and photos from CBS4 during the VIP Cannabis raid showed firefighters breaking into two safes in the parking lot of VIP Cannabis. The dispensary was also raided during a larger federal operation in November.

Safes at VIP Cannabis (credit: CBS)

Safes at VIP Cannabis (credit: CBS)

Prosecutors allege VIP’s operators Gerardo Uribe, 33, and his brother Luis Uribe, 28, along with Furtado, 48, wired and laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars from Colombia to buy a Denver grow house.

A copy of the indictment released Wednesday says the men tried to conceal the source of the money by transferring it into a bank account associated with Colorado West Metal, which the U.S. attorney’s office described as a shell company.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Furtado is also accused of using his attorney trust account, held in the name of his law firm, to facilitate the purchase of the warehouse.

Also charged in the case is Hector Diaz, an associate of the men who was arrested on a weapons charge during the November raids after investigators unearthed photos of him wearing a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency cap while holding two semi-automatic rifles and two handguns. He appeared in federal court briefly on Wednesday to be advised of new charges against him.

Dressed in a dark suit and free on bond, Diaz pleaded not guilty to the new charges of money laundering and providing false statements to authorities.

Gerardo Uribe surrendered to authorities on Wednesday.

Furtado and the younger Uribe remain jailed and are scheduled to appear at a detention hearing Thursday. Their attorneys have declined to comment.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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