ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4/AP) – An Arapahoe District Court judge awarded nearly $2.5 million in restitution to four investors defrauded in a black-market marijuana trafficking scheme. Scott Pack, the accused mastermind of the operation, was found guilty of racketeering and securities fraud, among other crimes.
Judge Michael Spear ordered the restitution for the victims in the amounts of $199,935; $299,935; $950,000; and $1,050,000.
“It is fitting that Pack’s insatiable greed and disregard for Colorado’s laws has now resulted in the law divesting him of much of his ill-gotten gains,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “This is a significant amount of money to pay in restitution, even for a rich California kid who lives at his parents’ property. I am pleased the victims will be provided some of what was taken from them.”
Pack was indicted in June 2017 along with former pot officer Renee Rayton and two growers. Months earlier, a grand jury indicted 16 others in connection with the ring.
The investigation started in August 2016. Investigators found an illegal marijuana operation in Elizabeth, which included 845 marijuana plants worth more than $5 million.
Officials said Pack’s businesses had marijuana licenses but allegedly never made a legal sale, serving instead as a front for the drug trafficking operation. No legal marijuana sales were reported or marijuana taxes paid.
Investigators say Rayton, a former Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy, was hired away from her job at the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division in the fall of 2016 by Pack to work as a compliance consultant for $8,000 a month for six months.
Rayton, whose job at the state included inspecting warehouses for compliance with regulations, allegedly refused to say where she was going and was earning money from the operation within about two weeks of leaving, according to the indictment. State licensing policies require regulators to wait six months before working in industries they once regulated.
Investigators say most of the marijuana came from warehouses and farms in Colorado Springs, Denver and Elizabeth. The ring is accused of shipping pot to states including Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri.
Pack was sentenced in July to 12 years in prison. He was convicted of two counts under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act – pattern of racketeering and conspiracy; a first-class drug felony; conspiracy to cultivate marijuana; and two counts of securities fraud.
Rayton is due in court on Nov. 23 for a motions hearing. Her trial is tentatively scheduled to begin in January.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)