In December of 2017, Sweet Leaf, Colorado’s largest dispensary chain, was raided by Denver PD after a year-long undercover investigation into the business. Law enforcement shut down all locations for what the state refers to as “looping,” or selling more than the “legal” amount of cannabis to a customer at one time. Two years after the raid, the case came to a head today: Sweet Leaf’s owners Matthew Aiken, Christian Johnson, and Anthony Sauro pleaded guilty to violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA)—a law that focuses on racketeering and illegal distribution of cannabis.
Under a plea agreement with the Denver District Attorney, the men will serve one year in prison, face a year of parole, and one year of probation for charges under COCCA. They will also have a felony on their records for marijuana distribution. And, according to reports, Aiken, Johnson, and Sauro are also required to hand over the assets of their other businesses, Dynamic Growth LLC and AJS Holdings. They’re also required to pay fines of $125,000 each for not filing tax returns and participating in organized crime.
“It’s absolutely terrible what’s happening to these men,” says Nichole West, Sweet Leaf’s former vice president, who served 30-days in jail