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Fraud suspect on trial in Arapahoe County marijuana export ring

Scott Pack, 41, pleaded not guilty to 11 charges in connection to an operation that was shut down by law enforcement in 2017.
Credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office
Michael Stonehouse (left) Rudy Saenz (center) and Scott Pack.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A three-week trial began Monday for a defendant in an Arapahoe County drug ring that was taken down by law enforcement in 2017.

Scott Pack, 41, is charged with 11 counts, including:

  • Racketeering
  • Conspiracy
  • Securities fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Forgery
  • Attempting to influence a public official
  • Conspiracy to cultivate and distribute marijuana.

He was indicted, along with 19 others, in an operation to grow marijuana illegally and distribute it outside Colorado, to states including Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri. Law enforcement shut down the operation in March 2017 after a months-long investigation.

The drug operation produced more than 300 pounds of marijuana per month, according to the grand jury indictment in the case. Arrests stretched from the northern Denver metro area to Colorado Springs.

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

RELATED: Raids target group accused of exporting pot

According to the indictment, Pack and partner Rudy Saenz created Harmony & Green LLC in 2014. Saenz was banned from obtaining a marijuana license, so Pack obtained 14 licenses through another company he created, HGCO LLC, for which he was listed as the sole owner, according to the indictment.

Through the two companies, Pack and Saenz solicited investors to help build out several warehouses that were used to grow and distribute the marijuana, the indictment says.

They misled investors, who had the expectation of profits from the sale of legal marijuana, according to the indictment, which added that the warehouses never produced any marijuana that was legally sold.

Saenz, 65, is charged with 11 counts including:

  • Racketeering
  • Conspiracy
  • Money laundering
  • Tax evasion

His trial, which was scheduled for last April, was vacated. His next court hearing is set for Feb. 21.

RELATED: Attorney: Lower bond needed for alleged drug ring leader so he can care for his 7 kids

The alleged leader of the drug ring, Michael Stonehouse, 56, pleaded guilty in May 2018 to two counts: 

  • Conspiracy to distribute marijuana
  • Conspiracy to commit cultivation of marijuana of more than 30 plants 

Twenty-five other charges were dismissed.

According to the grand jury indictment, Stonehouse owned an illegal marijuana grow in Elizabeth, called "the Ranch," and controlled the operation to transport the marijuana out of state.

When law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the Ranch in March 2017, they found multiple firearms, more than 400 pounds of marijuana, 30 pounds of marijuana concentrate and about 33 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, the indictment says.

Stonehouse hasn't been sentenced yet and will next be in court on March 27.

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