Enterprising criminals are pretending to be DEA agents and raiding dispensaries of their cash and product.
Although medical marijuana is legal in a majority of the United States today, Federal laws have not kept pace with state laws. Marijuana is still outlawed at a national level, which means the DEA can come into any business or dispensary, even if it is state authorized, and shut it down. Arrests are even possible. Some criminals have found a way to exploit that.
Four men have been charged with Federal crimes for posing as DEA agents to raid more than a dozen Denver, CO dispensaries in 2013. Although all four pleaded not guilty initially, one man, Hector Diaz, looks to be changing his mind.
Diaz has been charged with illegal weapon possession, making false statements, and money laundering. He faces more than 20 years in prison, but seems to have reached a plea agreement. Details of that agreement have not been released, but under standard sentencing guidelines, pleas for reduced time are often offered for information or testimony against co-conspirators.
Diaz is also a Colombian citizen, in the United States on a legal visa. His visa, according to law enforcement officials, did not allow him to use firearms.
The worst part about this? Diaz himself was supposed to be bringing in money from Colombia to start growing medical marijuana. Instead he bought weapons to take money and product from those just trying to make a living. A judge is deciding right now whether or not the plea arrangement is acceptable.