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Visit Colorado's Number-One Spot for Busting Foreign Marijuana Growers


This outdoor grow was located along Colorado Highway 96 West ... used for fertilizer and alterations made to the electrical and watering systems at the homes were hazardous. What's unclear about all this activity is whether the number of raids in Pueblo ...


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Sign Up › Facebook Twitter Follow @denverwestword Recommended For YouPowered by SailThru Ten Denver Neighborhoods Where One-Bedroom Rent Is Under $1,000 Amendment 64 Co-Author Brian Vicente on Colorado Legal Pot's Fifth Birthday Visit Colorado's Number-One Spot for Busting Foreign Marijuana Growers Michael Roberts EXPAND An illegal marijuana grow in Pueblo County that was raided in late June. Courtesy of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office Visit Colorado's Number-One Spot for Busting Foreign Marijuana Growers Michael Roberts | October 30, 2017 | 5:42am Facebook Twitter email Print Article AA The headline of a post published in this space last year posed the question, "Is Pueblo the Drug Bust Capital of Colorado?" And in recent months, law enforcement in the community has answered this question with a resounding "Yes," particularly when it comes to marijuana crimes with an international flavorIn a series of raids over the past four months, the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, working in conjunction with other agencies, has seized more than 8,000 cannabis plants at allegedly illegal grows associated with foreign nationalsAmong those arrested as part of the operations were eight men from Mexico and four from Cuba."This is another example of people coming from out of state to grow marijuana illegally to then sell it on the black market,” said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk MTaylor in a statementHe added, "What’s concerning to me is they are infiltrating nearly every corner of our county with this type of illegal activity."Plenty of Pueblo-area marijuana busts covered in this space have involved Americans, though many of them weren't originally from ColoradoOn April 5, 2016, for example, we told you about the arrest of nine men from Florida for illegal pot growsAnd a roundup published just over three weeks later, on April 27, collected information about 22 Pueblo busts and 4,600 plants seized in just over a month; three people in a family whose members had come to Colorado from both Florida and Tennessee were among those fitted for cuffs.At the same time, Sheriff Taylor has remained concerned about what he sees as the weed-related activities of Mexican drug enterprises in the Pueblo areaThe PCSO recently maintained that four outdoor grows discovered in or near the San Isabel National Forest over the past five years were tied to cartelsIn 2012, two grows were shut down, with 9,400 plants seized in the processIn October 2015, approximately 2,400 plants were spotted near the forest's Millset TrailAnd in July 2016, 1,000 plants were uprooted from private property near Table Top Mountain.Late June brought a fifth raid in this seriesTwo separate fields on U.SForest Service land near Huckleberry Hills, just outside the Town of Rye, yielded 7,400 plantsTwo people wearing camouflage clothing who were thought to be caring for the grow evaded arrest, and because they got away, no definitive statements were made about a cartel connectionBut their bounty was hauled away, and the sheriff's office estimated its value at $7 million. EXPAND This outdoor grow was located along Colorado Highway 96 West, just outside Pueblo. Courtesy of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office Then, on October 2, the PCSO conducted another major operation near Colorado Highway 96 west, just outside Pueblo — and this time, there were plenty of people getting mug shotsOne of them was a sixteen-year-old American who hasn't been named publicly owing to his ageBut eight others are from MexicoThey are:• Juan Sanchez-Rodrigues, 21• Jose Beltran-Valdez, 64• Lorenzo Rodriguez-Paredes, 45• Luis Ramirez-Rueda, 39• Luis Moreno-Garibay, 24• Ramon Hernandez-Cruz, 26

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