The mastermind behind one of Colorado’s largest and most sophisticated marijuana trafficking organizations, which conned investors out of millions and shipped illegal drugs out of Colorado, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge Michael Spear sentenced businessman Scott Pack on Thursday. A jury in February convicted Pack, 42, of two counts under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) – pattern of racketeering and conspiracy; a first-class drug felony; conspiracy to cultivate marijuana; and two counts of securities fraud. Spear imposed eight years on the COCCA and drug charges consecutive to four years on the securities fraud charges.
Spear said Pack clearly was one of the primary movers behind the operation.
“COCCA is there to keep people from scheming to defraud people, and this was particularly sophisticated. There is no doubt in my mind he was directly involved,” Spear said. “There is a tear in the fabric of our community because of these criminal actions, and this is an intelligent criminal we should all be very concerned about.”
District Attorney George Brauchler was pleased with the sentence.
“A manipulative rich guy who grew up in wealth and privilege in California believed he could defeat Colorado’s marijuana regulatory laws to his selfish benefit without consequence. Oops,” Brauchler said. “While I am satisfied with the 12-year sentence, it is greatly concerning that Pack claimed an inability to pay the millions of dollars in restitution he owes … and then posted a $500,000 appeal bond to delay the imposition of his deserved prison sentence. I know of few Coloradans who could delay prison by posting such an enormous bond.
“Marijuana is heavily regulated in Colorado for a reason. Let this conviction and prison sentence send a message to others who would attempt to play by their own rules.”
Pack, who now lives in California, was indicted in June 2017 along with 19 others after an investigation that started in August 2016. At that time law enforcement found an illegal marijuana operation at a site in Elizabeth. Investigators discovered 845 marijuana plants weighing 2,535 pounds worth more than $5 million.
That was the beginning of an investigation that uncovered a major drug trafficking organization that was involved in illegally cultivating, processing and distributing marijuana and marijuana products to at least five states. The DTO produced well over 300 pounds of marijuana each month at sites in Denver, Elizabeth and Colorado Springs. The distribution was arranged and executed throughout Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert counties, and other locations along the Front Range.
The DTO used the guise of a licensed and legal business – Harmony & Green and various iterations — to cultivate and distribute marijuana illegally. Harmony & Green never produced any marijuana that was legally sold. No legal marijuana sales were reported or marijuana taxes paid.
Pack, at the top of the drug enterprise, played a pivotal role, taking the proceeds of black market marijuana as well as soliciting investors to back the enterprise through fraudulent statements and empty promises.
Pack and various associates scammed investors out of millions of dollars while Harmony & Green never once sold legal marijuana in Colorado but instead provided a front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking operation.
Two of the financial investors Pack victimized spoke during the sentencing via Webex.
“My life is upside down because of this defendant,” one told the judge. “I hope the sentence reflects the pain we have had as a result of his behavior,” another said.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Darcy Kofol brought the indictment and tried the case with Senior Deputy District Attorney Laura Wilson.
“This is about pure unadulterated greed. (Pack) is deceitful and manipulative,” Kofol said during her sentencing argument. “He swindled millions of dollars out of the investors and refused to abide by our laws. He lives a lavish lifestyle but has made no effort to make his victims whole.”
She added: “He broke the law and was convicted, but he has never taken responsibility. Today is that day.”