Feds ask judge to dismiss case against Denver pot lawyer

The Acting U.S. Attorney in Colorado has filed a motion to dismiss all drug and money laundering charges against Denver attorney David Furtado, a key figure in one of the biggest criminal pot cases in the state’s legal-marijuana era.

Acting U.S. Attorney Robert C. Troyer requested all charges against Furtado be dismissed without prejudice in a motion on Friday, according to a court document.

“It is respectfully requested that this Court enter an order: dismissing the above-captioned criminal case against Defendant David Jeffery Furtado without prejudice, vacating all dates, and denying as moot all pending motions,”

Furtado was one of four people charged following the largest-ever federal raids on Colorado’s medical marijuana industry in 2013. The four all had ties to the now-defunct VIP Cannabis dispensary, as well as other licensed marijuana businesses. The state ordered VIP Cannabis to close in 2014 after alleged violations of state law and policy.

Prosecutors had previously alleged that Furtado helped orchestrate a scheme to funnel money from Colombia through several bank accounts in Denver and into the purchase of a warehouse for growing marijuana. All three of Furtado’s co-defendants in the case had previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the case.

Furtado had argued that the federal crimes he is charged with — money laundering and trying to deposit proceeds from an illegal enterprise into a bank — all stemmed from activity that is legal under state law in Colorado. Because Congress last year passed a law prohibiting the U.S. Department of Justice from spending money to interfere with state medical marijuana laws, Furtado argued that the indictment against him should be dismissed.

One of his co-defendants, Luis Uribe, faces sentencing Tuesday in Denver U. S. District Court on reduced misdemeanor charges, according to court records. Uribe’s brother, Gerardo Uribe, and Hector Diaz have also entered guilty pleas in the case.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com

The Cannabist

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