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Mastermind of illegal pot operation sentenced to 12 years

They operated under the guise of a licensed legal business, but never sold any marijuana legally, the DA said. Instead, it all went to the black market.
Credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office
Former Aspen businessman Scott Pack was convicted Friday on six felonies in connection with a marijuana trafficking organization.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — The mastermind behind one of Colorado’s largest and most sophisticated marijuana trafficking organizations, which shipped illegal drugs out of Colorado, was sentenced this week to 12 years in prison.

Arapahoe County District Court Judge Michael Spear sentenced businessman Scott Pack on Thursday.

A jury in February convicted Pack, 42, of two counts under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA):

  • Pattern of racketeering and conspiracy; a first-class drug felony
  • Conspiracy to cultivate marijuana 

He was also convicted of two counts of security fraud.

RELATED: Aspen businessman busted in black market marijuana case

Pack received an eight-year sentence on the COCCA and drug charges, which will be served consecutively, and four years on the securities fraud charges.

Spear said Pack clearly was one of the primary movers behind the operation.

District Attorney George Brauchler was pleased with the sentence.

“Marijuana is heavily regulated in Colorado for a reason," Brauchler said. "Let this conviction and prison sentence send a message to others who would attempt to play by their own rules.”

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. Investigators discovered 845 marijuana plants weighing 2,535 pounds worth more than $5 million.

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. 

RELATED: Thousands of illegal marijuana plants seized along the Front Range

They produced well over 300 pounds of marijuana each month at sites in Denver, Elizabeth and Colorado Springs, according to prosecutors.

The distribution was arranged and executed throughout Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert counties, and other locations along the Front Range.

They operated under the guise of a licensed and legal business, Harmony & Green, but cultivated and distributed marijuana illegally, the DA said. 

Harmony & Green never produced any marijuana that was legally sold and no legal marijuana sales were reported or marijuana taxes paid, prosecutors said.

The DA said Pack, at the top of the drug enterprise, 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.

Pack and various associates scammed investors out of millions of dollars while Harmony & Green never once sold legal marijuana in Colorado, but instead provided a front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking operation, the DA said.

Two of the financial investors who were victimized spoke at his sentencing via Webex.

“My life is upside down because of this defendant,” one told the judge. 

“I hope the sentence reflects the pain we have had as a result of his behavior,” another said.

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