Denver marijuana dispensary owners deny alleged ties to Colombian drug cartels

1:52 PM, Nov 23, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - The owners of one of Colorado's largest marijuana clinics are denying allegations their business has ties to Colombian drug cartels.

Federal agents raided several dispensaries in Denver and Boulder on Thursday, including VIP Cannabis a Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue, but so far have made no arrests.

The raids also left dozens of VIP Cannabis workers without jobs.
9Wants to Know watched federal agents pulling out box-after-box from two VIP Cannabis locations on Thursday, during the largest federal raid since medical marijuana became legal in Colorado.

All case documents are sealed.

Sources close to the investigation tell 9Wants to Know, agents are gathering evidence, trying to prove profits made from cannabis grow operations are flowing back to Colombian drug cartels.

9Wants to Know spoke with two people named in the federal search warrant, VIP Cannabis president Carlos Solano and owner Gerardo Uribe.

Both men are not charged with any crime.

Solano and Uribe claim to run an honest business, with no drug cartel ties of any kind.

"If we were in a cartel, we wouldn't be here," Solano said.

"You would be stupid to get into this business and be part of a cartel. I mean, camera, camera, camera, camera, IRS. We wouldn't get into this business and be part of a cartel. That would be a stupid decision," Uribe said.

Solano and Uribe tell 9Wants to Know, federal agents took more than $2 million worth of marijuana plants and products from their businesses, forcing them to lay off almost 100 employees at two dispensary locations.

They plan to partially reopen within the next week, but will only do a fraction of their normal business until their supplies are replenished.

Solano and Uribe feel the feds targeted them for running a successful business, as one of the largest marijuana dispensaries in Colorado.

They plan to issue further statements through their attorney in the coming days.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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