In this Sept. 15, 2015 file photo, marijuana grows at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. (Seth Perlman, Associated Press file)

Garden store a front for career criminal’s marijuana ring, Colorado police say

After months of investigation, Colorado police Wednesday arrested three people in connection with a marijuana trafficking ring they say used a Greeley business as a front.

Randall Zandstra, 55, has been involved in crime long enough to earn his own episode on the crime documentary TV series “I (Almost) Got Away With It.”

Colorado Garden Store marijuana Grow randall-zandstra
Randall Zandstra (handout)

Although he once placed ninth in a Las Vegas poker championship, he has faced fraud charges before, and in April 2007 led U.S. marshals on a car chase when they attempted to arrest him on suspicion of marijuana cultivation. He was later sentenced to nine years in prison.

Greeley police Lt. Steve Black, who leads the Weld County Drug Task Force, said police believe Zandstra recently returned to the world of marijuana trafficking. According to Black, Zandstra worked with a Greeley business, Green Thumb Garden Supply, 2380 27th St. in Greeley, to ship batches of marijuana as far away as Florida.

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