DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – Sources say a dozen federal raids of Denver and Boulder marijuana shops are tied to a single investigation of a Colombian drug cartel.
Drug investigators are concerned that the pot industry is providing a legal framework for organized crime to enter Colorado.READ MORE: Aurora Police Investigate Hit & Run Involving Pedestrian
“We believed more youth were going to use, we believed more adults were going to use, and we believed there would be more cartel activity. All of those things are happening,” said Colorado Drug Investigators Association Sgt. Jim Gerhardt.
Search warrants revealed 10 targets in the investigation.
Laszlo Bagi holds several medical marijuana licenses including Swiss Medical in Boulder, where one of the raids took place. Piles of pot were confiscated.READ MORE: Colorado Weather: Denver Included Winter Weather Advisory
Juan Guardarrama is also named in the search warrant. The Miami Herald identifies him in an article as part of jewelry theft ring and says he asked undercover officers about selling his Colorado pot in Miami.
“If there are bad apples currently involved they need to go. But the message the federal government has gone about it is having a broader chilling effect,” said marijuana regulatory attorney Lauren Davis.
She says the U.S. Department of Justice has not indicated a reason for the raids.
Experts say when cartels become involved bigger problems may be on the way.MORE NEWS: Awake And Hungry: Trail Cam Captures Family Of Bears In Roxborough State Park
“Those cartels battle each other, they kill their citizens, they intimidate, they kidnap and all kinds of things and that violence spills over into the United States,” said Gerhardt.