One of four men facing federal charges in connection with large-scale raids on Colorado medical marijuana businesses looks likely to plead guilty, based on a recently filed court motion.
Hector Diaz was indicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering after federal agents in 2013 raided more than a dozen medical marijuana stores and grows linked to VIP Cannabis and its financiers. Diaz, who is a Colombian citizen, was also charged with illegal weapon possession and making false statements to investigators. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, the most serious of which carries a possible 20-year prison sentence.
But, in a motion filed Friday, Diaz indicated an intent to change his plea. The motion is called a “notice of disposition,” and it is typically filed in federal cases when defendants and prosecutors have reached a plea agreement.
Details of the agreement won’t be revealed until after a change-of-plea hearing, during which a judge would decide whether to accept the deal.
Diaz was the only person arrested during the raids, and he was initially charged with only the weapons offense, after investigators found a photo appearing to show him holding two semi-automatic rifles inside the swanky Cherry Hills Village home that a police SWAT team stormed on the morning of the raids. Diaz’s visa did not permit him to possess firearms, prosecutors alleged.
Diaz was later indicted with three others on money laundering charges connected to money transfers from Colombia that prosecutors said were meant to buy a Denver warehouse for growing marijuana.
John Ingold: 303-954-1068, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/johningold