Pubdate: Sat, 23 Jan 2016
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2016 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Jennifer Brown


Three roommates who grew medical marijuana are suing two law 
enforcement agencies after their rural Conifer home was raided 
"military-style" with armored vehicles, machine guns and flash grenades.

A year after the raid, none of the three has been charged with a 
crime, and they have received minimal response from Denver police and 
Jefferson County sheriff's officials about why they confiscated 
$70,000, 28 firearms and a pickup, their attorney said.

"We have heard pretty much silence from the authorities on our 
requests for further information," said Rob Corry, an attorney with 
The Cannabis Law Firm. "Our clients are innocent of any criminal 
wrongdoing whatsoever. This is a significant amount of property and 
they'd like to get it back."

Denver police spokeswoman Christine Downs said the criminal 
investigation is ongoing and that she could not comment on the 
lawsuit. Jefferson County sheriff 's officials did not respond to a 
request for comment Friday.

Heavily armed SWAT officers knocked in doors and threw flash grenades 
during the Jan. 23, 2015, raid, according to the lawsuit filed 
Thursday. Officers "assaulted" dogs at the "peaceful mountain home" 
and destroyed more than 350 marijuana plants.

Derek Smith and Shannon Riley, who are engaged, and their roommate 
Eric Hepper grew medical marijuana and sold it to Vietnam War 
veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as 
cancer patients, their lawsuit says.

The Colorado constitution allows residents to grow medical marijuana 
for more than five patients when there is not a dispensary within a 
reasonable distance from their homes, according to the lawsuit. It 
also allows residents to grow as many plants as their patients' 
doctors recommend.

In a search warrant affidavit, Denver police said they were working 
with a confidential informant before the raid.

"This is rural Colorado," Corry said. "There is no law against cash 
and there is definitely no law against guns."
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