The North Metro Drug Task Force in Denver, CO initiated a large marijuana takedown yesterday that they called, “Operation Sweet Leaf.”
SWAT teams were sent to raid 25 homes in the metro-area, leading to the discovery of over 1,000 marijuana plants. Raids began at 6 a.m. yesterday in upscale neighborhoods in Denver, Thornton, Broomfield, and Westminster. As a result of the raids, an estimated 7 children were taken into the custody of social services.
These raids came on the same day as a planned MMJ support event in Colorado, the Medical Marijuana Day of Action, during which supporters were urged to call their federal representatives and voice their unhappiness with federal involvement with the state’s medical marijuana program.
Despite the coincidence in dates, the raids were non-medical marijuana related. As of yesterday, 16 men and women had been arrested in connection with the illegal grow operations, and it is anticipated that up to 10 more people could also face arrest.
Authorities suspect that the plants being grown in this operation were growing plants and shipping them throughout the United States. The suspects allegedly utilized the US Postal Service to ship the marijuana to over 8 states.
The joint investigation involved the North Metro Task Force, the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the IRS, the US Postal Service, the South Metro Drug Task Force, and the Denver Narcotics Bureau.
As of publication, there are a combined 69 charges included within the 16 arrest warrants. Charges include Distribution of Marijuana, Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Money Laundering, and Racketeering and Conspiracy Under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act.