Another suspect in a case stemming from a series of high-profile federal raids on Colorado medical marijuana businesses has indicated he plans to plead guilty.
Luis Uribe, one of four men charged in connection with the raids, filed a “notice of disposition” in federal court in Denver on Monday. Such a notice is usually filed when prosecutors and a defendant reach a plea agreement. The next step is for the sides to schedule a hearing at which Uribe would change his plea to guilty and a judge would decide whether to accept the deal.
Uribe is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and trying to deposit money from a federally illegal enterprise — in this case, a state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary — into a bank account. If convicted of the most serious charge, he could spend up to 20 years in prison.
Federal court attacks DEA policies on medical marijuana: A federal judge in California has ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s interpretation of a recent medical marijuana bill “defies language and logic”
Prosecutors brought the charges months after DEA agents carried out the largest-ever federal raids on Colorado medical marijuana businesses. The raids focused on businesses connected to the VIP Cannabis dispensary in Denver.
Uribe; his brother, Gerardo; attorney David Furtado; and Colombian citizen Hector Diaz were indicted in federal court in connection with the raids. Prosecutors alleged they were all part of a scheme to funnel money from Colombia, launder it and then use it to buy a warehouse in Denver for growing marijuana. Diaz later reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he would not have to serve any additional jail time.
Furtado, meanwhile, filed a motion in court last month asking the judge to throw out the case, arguing that a recently passed federal budget amendment should block prosecutors from pursuing the case.
John Ingold: 303-954-1068, firstname.lastname@example.org or @johningold