Black market marijuana grows are popping up faster than law enforcement can take them down. But is legalization the cause?

Denver Post

As he awaited sentencing in 2010, Fayin Deng sounded a contemplative, philosophic note. “I have learned now that once you become obsessed with money, no matter how great your original need was,” Deng wrote to the federal judge overseeing his criminal case, “there is no such thing as feeling like you have enough.” The source of his cash came from a different kind of green — marijuana. It was “easy money,” Deng wrote, referring to his role in a large-scale Colorado drug trafficking organization responsible for growing massive quantities of illicit marijuana for sale across the country. Facing the prospect of 18 months in federal prison, Deng wished he could take it all back. “Looking back now, I can see where I had chances to do the right thing. I did not take them,” Deng wrote. “I feel worse about this than anything I have ever done.” But last month, nearly 12 years to the day after they were arrested the first time, Deng and his wife Kelly Chuong were accused by federal investigators of participating in a similar black market marijuana scheme — an operation the now-former U.S. attorney for the District of Colorado in 2019 called the largest marijuana bust in state history. The couple’s indictment and arrest comes two years after federal and local law enforcement culminated a multi-year investigation that led to 250 homes and businesses being raided across the Front Range and dozens of people arrested. Authorities seized more than 80,000 marijuana plants and nearly $2.2 million along with gold bars, jewelry and sports cars. Federal prosecutors have divulged little about their case against the couple beyond the just-filed charges, but local drug investigators in 2019 pegged Deng and Chuong as leaders of the drug trafficking organization, according to arrest warrant affidavits for other suspects…

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Source : Black market marijuana grows are popping up faster than law enforcement can take them down. But is legalization the cause?

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