DENVER (CBS4) – Charges have been announced in a year-long undercover sting operation that led to the arrest of 13 budtenders who worked at seven ‘Sweet Leaf’ marijuana dispensaries.
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann has formally charged 10 people arrested on Dec. 14 for selling unlawful amounts of marijuana to single customers, a practice known as “looping.”
Stuart Walker, 24, Krystal Mauro, 30, Leeanne Henley, 25, Natalie Betters, 25, and Deann Miller, 45, are each charged with felony distribution of marijuana, more than four ounces.
Christopher Arneson, 28, Cassidy Thomas, 22, Joseph Gerlick, 28, Andrea Cutrer, 26, Devin Waigand, 22, are each charged with misdemeanor distribution of marijuana, more than one ounce.
There are charges pending against the three others, Dana Velasquez, Jonathan Sublette, Ian Ferguson, arrested during the sting.
All those arrested are employees of the six Denver and one Aurora marijuana dispensaries operating under the name of “Sweet Leaf” targeted in the sting.
The charges come after the year-long criminal investigation of Sweet Leaf stores that began when Denver police received a complaint from a neighbor near one of the stores. That person reported observing numerous persons making multiple trips each day to and from their parked vehicles to the store, continuing these “loops” for several hours at a time.
Amendment 64 requires no more than one ounce of marijuana per sale.
Undercover cops wearing hidden video cameras wrote in arrest affidavits that one store sold an ounce to the same undercover buyer 14 times in less than three hours. Another store allegedly sold six times the limit in just over one hour, and still another shop allegedly sold 16 times the limit in about six hours, to name a few incidents.