DENVER — During one of the largest illegal marijuana busts in our state’s history, the Denver Police Department walked away with more than just recognition ...they also got a new set of wheels.
After months of asking about it with no answers, a spokesman for Colorado’s Attorney General finally revealed to 9NEWS this month that a 2013 Tesla Model S now owned by DPD was seized as part of Operation Toker Poker, a 2017 illegal marijuana bust that ended in the arrest of more than 60 people.
Aaron Baca, 33, was arrested as part of that operation. An indictment at the time accused Baca of using his business, Put on Developments LLC, which was doing business as Allied Exteriors, to launder money for the operation, which shipped marijuana out of state.
Baca was also accused of using forged documents to help co-conspirators mortgage property.
Baca pleaded guilty to money laundering, tax evasion and conspiracy to distribute marijuana in Denver district court on March 8, according to attorney general spokesman Lawrence Pacheco. He’s due to be sentenced in May.
According to the allegations, Baca used illegal funds to purchase the Tesla, so it was seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The forfeiture was not contested by Baca, so it was handled administratively by the DEA, according to spokesman Randy Ladd. As Denver Police assisted the DEA in the investigation, the seizure was shared with the city’s police department.
On Baca’s Facebook page, he explains to a friend that his Tesla has been converted into a Denver police car.
“I still can’t figure out what I was thinking the day I bought a Tesla straight cash homie,” Baca wrote. “Had I financed it like a normal person, I’d still have her today.”
9NEWS called and left messages for Baca, but he has not responded to our request for comment.