October 14, 2011
Contact: Special Agent Randy Ladd
Phone Number: (720-895-4294)
Four Defendants Charged In Colorado Marijuana Grow Operation
DENVER, CO. - Four Denver men were charged based on a Criminal Complaint for the distribution and possession with intent to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants, United States Attorney John Walsh and Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Merrill announced today. The four defendants are Ha Do, age 48, his son Nathan Do, age 21, his brother Hai Do, age 44, and Richard Crosse, age 48. Of the four defendants, Ha Do and Nathan Do were arrested without incident. They are scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Boyd Bolland this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. where they will be advised of the charges pending against them, and the penalties associated with those charges. The other two defendants are currently being sought by law enforcement. The Do family was involved in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana. Crosse owned the building/warehouse where the marijuana was grown and was an investor in the Do’s illegal business.
In addition to the arrests, the DEA and Denver Police Department this morning executed search warrants, recovering over 1,100 marijuana plants. Today’s seizure is the second time law enforcement has been to the same warehouse facility that the Do’s and Crosse is using to cultivate and distribute marijuana. Agents and officers seized over 1,800 marijuana plants and some grow equipment during the execution of a state search warrant this summer. The items seized are currently the subject of asset forfeiture proceedings.
During the course of executing the search warrants today, agents and officers followed a truck transporting marijuana plants from the search location to a second location. As a result, agents and officers encountered at the second a marijuana grow with over 2,500 plants. Because the plants are contraband, agents and officers seized these additional plants. A myriad of medically infused products were also taken from the second location. The second location was not the original target of the investigation. In total on October 13, 2011, over 3,600 marijuana plants were seized by authorities.
According to court documents, including affidavits in support of the Criminal Complaints, on June 10, 2011, the Denver Police Department Narcotics Unit executed a state search warrant at a North Denver address. At the address they found 1,865 marijuana plants. During the search agents and officers discovered that the building/warehouse was divided into several growing rooms and additional rooms used to hang, dry and store harvested marijuana. In sum, the law enforcement agents found the entire inside of the building to be purposed for the propagation and cultivation of marijuana.
The agents and officers seized all of the marijuana plants as well as 36 (in excess of 70 pounds) of processed marijuana that was ready for distribution and sale. They also seized a portion of the grow equipment that consisted of numerous grow lights with bulbs and reflectors, ballasts, a large trimmer machine, a marijuana press and a grinder.
After the seizure the investigation continued. Agents and officers determined that Ha Do was the General Manager of the grow operation. Hai Do was the owner of the business, and Nathan Do was the marijuana cultivator or grower. Further, Crosse, who owned the warehouse, purchased 90 percent of the grow equipment for the Do’s, and then leased it back to them. The Do’s and Crosse also agreed that Crosse would receive $400 per pound of marijuana sold from the cultivation operation. The Do family paid 2/3 of the designated rent for the use of Crosse’s warehouse. Crosse absorbed the remaining 1/3. Crosse was fully engaged in setting up the illegal marijuana grow operation, investing approximately $325,000 of his own funds.
“In this case the defendants had full knowledge that their conduct was illegal under federal law after law enforcement seized their marijuana plants and equipment in June,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “The fact that the defendants then returned to the same warehouse to start another illegal marijuana grow operation demonstrates that they were flaunting the law.”
“The Drug Enforcement Administration will continue to enforce all laws under the Controlled Substances Act, including those laws involving drug trafficking organizations that cultivate and distribute marijuana,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Merrill.
If convicted of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants, regardless of weight, and did knowingly and intentionally aid or procure the same, the defendants face not less than 10 years, and not more than life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $4,000,000.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement (DEA) and the Denver Police (DPD).
The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney M.J. Menendez. The asset forfeiture proceedings are being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tonya Andrews.
A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document. Anyone accused of committing a felony violation of federal law has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a grand jury.
The charges contained in the Criminal Complaint are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until found guilty.