Former Aspen businessman found guilty on marijuana trafficking charges, faces 32 years in prison
A former Aspen businessman faces up to 32 years in prison after he was found guilty Friday of six felonies in connection with a marijuana trafficking organization that duped investors and shipped pot out of Colorado.
Scott Pack, 41, was convicted by an Arapahoe County jury of two counts under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act — pattern of racketeering and conspiracy; a first-class drug felony; and conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, according to a news release from the 18th Judicial District. He was also found guilty of two counts of securities fraud.
Pack, who now lives in California, was indicted in June 2017 along with 19 others after an investigation that started in August 2016. At that time law enforcement found an illegal marijuana operation at a site in Elizabeth, which is southeast of Denver.
Investigators discovered 845 marijuana plants weighing 2,535 pounds worth more than $5 million.
“Coloradans did not pass Amendment 64 to become the Wild West of Weed. Despite the perception that marijuana is completely legal, it is not,” District Attorney George Brauchler said in the news release. “Colorado created a regulatory framework that we defend by aggressively prosecuting those, including the rich, who choose greed over our laws.”
Pack was at the top of the drug enterprise, according to the news release, and played a pivotal role, taking the proceeds of black market marijuana as well as soliciting investors to back the enterprise through fraudulent statements and empty promises. None of the pot was sold legally in Colorado.
That was the beginning of an investigation that uncovered a major drug trafficking organization that was involved in illegally cultivating, processing and distributing marijuana and marijuana products to at least five states, according to the release.
“This defendant thought he could avoid prosecution by having subordinates do all the dirty work. He thought he left no trail. He told them, ‘If anything happens to you, I have the money to hire the attorneys. So none of this can touch me,’” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Darcy Kofol, who tried the case with Senior Deputy District Attorney Laura Wilson. “He was wrong. I am grateful to the jurors for seeing the truth and holding him accountable.”
The drug felony carries a mandatory prison term of 8-32 years in prison. Other counts have presumptive ranges but prison time is not mandatory and sentences are at the discretion of the judge, officials said in the release.
Pack’s sentencing is set for April 6 at 8:30 a.m.
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While the list of positive trends over the last year is short, one silver lining is that crime in Aspen dropped significantly.