The owner of a high-profile Denver dispensary that was raided last week proclaimed his innocence, saying he runs a legitimate business and does not have ties to Colombian drug cartels.
VIP Wellness owner Gerardo Uribe told 9News that you would have to be “stupid” to run a medical marijuana business and get involved in a cartel.
“I mean, camera, camera, camera, camera, IRS,” Uribe said. “We wouldn’t get into this business and be part of a cartel. That would be a stupid decision.”
The federal government hasn’t released much information about the reasons behind the raids, which included more than a dozen dispensaries, grow operations and homes.
But the action apparently targeted 10 individuals with ties to Colombian drug cartels. The government also indicated that the businesses may have engaged in illicit activities that federal prosecutors are paying particularly close attention to, including the diversion of marijuana to other states.
Agents from the Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service stormed some of the businesses, taking millions of dollars in marijuana and infused products.
No charges have been filed and no one has been charged with a crime, but sources said that the raids are part of the government’s efforts to build a case.
Uribe told 9News that his dispensary may have been targeted simply because it is successful. He plans to reopen VIP Wellness shortly, though at a much smaller scale.