Denver – October 7, 2011 In the culmination of a joint investigation, the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division (MMED) partnered with the TRIDENT Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team to investigate alleged illegal activity taking place at a Medical Marijuana Center in Carbondale, CO.
The MMED began an investigation of the Mother Earth Medical Marijuana Center after receiving information that the Center sold to individuals without the statutorily required documentation and was selling or offering to sell illegal drugs. The MMED contacted the TRIDENT Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team and in a collaborative effort were able to determine that the Center owner was indeed engaging in illegal activity. The TRIDENT/MMED joint operation yielded evidence of an illegal Medical Marijuana purchase and the sale of suspected cocaine to an undercover officer.
Today, the Center owner has been arrested and the Center and its Cultivation shut down. Further investigation into other individuals that may be involved is ongoing, and additional arrests may be made as a result of this joint operation. All Medical Marijuana has been confiscated by the MMED and the Center/Cultivation application for a State MMED business license has been officially denied. Today is an example of how the MMED provides a valuable resource for other law enforcement agencies by partnering with them to provide both agencies with increased manpower and institutional knowledge to stop illegal activity within Colorado’s Medical Marijuana industry and our state.
Division Director Dan Hartman said “While the MMED is currently working to educate members of the Medical Marijuana industry and bring them into compliance with current statute and rule, we will not hesitate to take immediate action when we are made aware of blatant illegal activity. Due to Colorado’s unambiguous regulatory scheme we were able to identify an industry member that was not operating in compliance with the law and partner with the local authority to take action. It is gratifying to have the opportunity to work with our fellow law enforcement officers to make Colorado’s Medical Marijuana industry a safe place for patients to purchase this medicinal product” – said Hartman. “In this time of limited funding, TRIDENT and the MMED were able to pool their resources to put an end to this illegal drug activity and ensure the integrity of the industry we regulate.”
Today also helps validate the large majority of Medical Marijuana business owners that work hard to operate within our state’s regulatory scheme. These small business owners have spent a great deal of time and money to do so and are directly impacted by businesses not interested in compliance. The MMED will continue to investigate and stop illegal activity within our industry.
The TRIDENT Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team was established in 1994 and is based in Glenwood Springs. This task force unites participating agencies within Garfield County to directly address illegal drug activity and decrease the amount of illegal drugs available within area served by TRIDENT. Participating agencies include: Carbondale Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Glenwood Springs Police Department, Rifle Police Department, Rocky Mountain High- Intensity Drug Trafficking, Silt Police Department and the Vail Police Department. In order to obtain additional information about TRIDENT visit their web site at http://tridentnarc.com/
The MMED was created through legislation in the 2010 Legislative Session and is tasked with regulation of the commercial Medical Marijuana industry. The agency has been operational since July 1 2010, and is establishing a robust monitoring system for this industry. More information on the MMED may be found on our web site at www.colorado.gov/revenue/medicalmarijuana