Pubdate: Wed, 25 Jan 2012
Source: Summit Daily News (CO)
Copyright: 2012 Summit Daily News
Author: Caddie Nath, Summit Daily News 


Local Man Caught With More Than $600,000 in Marijuana

Local and Front Range authorities busted two illegal marijuana grow
operations this week as a wave of drug raids swept Colorado.

Scott Matthew Shumsky, 38, was arrested late Monday night after Summit
County Sheriff's Office deputies found 16 ounces of marijuana and 120
plants at his residence.

The processed marijuana had an estimated street value of $5,800, while
the plants were valued at approximately $600,000.

Shumsky was charged with one count of possession of more than 12
ounces of marijuana, a Class 4 felony carrying a sentence of up to six
years in prison, and marijuana cultivation, a Class 6 felony
punishable by up to 18 months in jail and $100,000 in fines.

Shumsky has been released on a $7,500 bond.

An anonymous complaint led the sheriff's office to Shumsky's residence
at 16 Bemrose Trail, where they also discovered three firearms and
hydroponic equipment used to cultivate marijuana.

"They did a fine job in wrapping this up so quickly after we received
the tip," Sheriff John Minor stated of the investigation team in a
recent release. "Hopefully this will serve as a lesson to others that
non-medical marijuana cultivation is a crime and will not be tolerated
in Summit County."

Statewide raids Shumsky's arrest came just two days before a statewide
wave of raids Wednesday morning, including one in Breckenridge.

A total of 16 individuals were arrested, but no information about who
or how many people were arrested in the Breck raid has been released.

Wednesday morning's sting was the culmination of a six-month
investigation of an illegal marijuana ring that spread across the
Front Range and into the mountains, officers with the North Metro Task
Force, which led the raids, said.

"We executed 25 search warrants today," North Metro Task Force cmdr.
Jerry Peters said. "They've been growing marijuana here and shipping
it out of state. It has nothing to do with medical marijuana, it's
truly an illegal grow operation."

Homes were raided in unincorporated Adams County, Broomfield, Denver,
Fredrick and Erie as well as Breck. There could be additional raids in
the coming days, Peters said.

A total of 69 criminal charges, including racketeering and conspiracy
under the Colorado Civilized Crime Control Act, distribution of
marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and money
laundering, were included in the 16 arrest warrants executed during
the raids.

Names of the individuals arrested have not been released.

Many of the grow operations were being run from homes in residential
neighborhoods, according to a statement released by the task force and
the 17th Judicial District Attorney Wednesday.

Summit County officials said Shumsky's arrest was not connected to the
task force raids.

But this week's arrests have focused local law enforcement's attention
on the drug problem in Summit County. Authorities indicated they would
begin researching whether drug-related crime has increased in the year
since a local drug task force was dismantled.

"We do want to take a closer look at what's happening up here and 
whether the community is experiencing a larger problem now the drug 
task force has been disbanded," sheriff's office spokeswoman Tracy 
LeClair said.
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