Aspen's Scott Pack Convicted Of Leading Black Market Marijuana Operation
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) - A former Aspen businessman received a guilty verdict from a jury Friday for his role at the top of an organization that illegally grew marijuana in Colorado and transported it across state lines.
Scott Pack, 41, was convicted of six felonies -- two counts of pattern of racketeering and conspiracy (under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act), a first-class drug felony, conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, and two counts of securities fraud.
Pack, who now lives in California, faces up to 32 years in prison. He scheduled for sentencing on April 6.
In August of 2016, law enforcement personnel discovered an illegal marijuana grow operation at a site in town of Elizabeth. Investigators founds 845 marijuana plants worth more than $5 million on the property.
That was the first discovery among many. Investigators uncovered a major drug trafficking operation that illegally cultivated, processed and distributed marijuana and marijuana products to at least five other states.
A grand jury indicted Pack and 19 other people less than a year after the Elizabeth bust.
"Coloradans did not pass Amendment 64 to become the Wild West of Weed," said 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler. "Despite the perception that marijuana is completely legal, it is not. Colorado created a regulatory framework that we defend by aggressively prosecuting those, including the rich, who choose greed over our laws."
According to Brauchler's office, Pack was at the top of the business, Harmony & Green. Although it was a legally licensed marijuana business, Harmony & Green never produced any marijuana that was legally sold, never reported legal marijuana sales, and never paid marijuana-related taxes.
Pack also sought and obtained millions of dollars from investors to back the operation. Prosecutors called it a scam.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Darcy Kofol said, "This defendant thought he could avoid prosecution by having subordinates do all the dirty work. He thought he left no trail. He told them, 'If anything happens to you, I have the money to hire the attorneys. So none of this can touch me'. He was wrong."
The ring allegedly shipped pot to Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri.
Among the others charged as a result of the investigation is Renee Rayton, a former Pitkin County Sheriff's Office deputy. Pack allegedly hired Rayton away from her position with the state's marijuana enforcement team where her responsibilities included inspecting marijuana warehouses for compliance.
Rayton is charged with one felony drug count. Her trial is scheduled for May.
An earlier version of this story reported Rayton had been charged with 46 felony drug charges. That was incorrect. She faces a single felony count.
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