The Denver Post reports
Fayin Deng and Kelly Chuong were set to stand trial this week
A Colorado couple at the center of the state’s largest-ever black market marijuana ring has reached a plea agreement with federal authorities, court records show.
Fayin Deng and Kelly Chuong were set to stand trial this week on felony charges related to the distribution of large quantities of marijuana.
Late last month, attorneys for both individuals filed notices in federal court, saying agreements had been reached. Terms of the plea agreements were not specified in court documents.
An individual who answered a phone listed in Chuong’s name on Monday afternoon said “no comment” when asked about the deal. Deng’s attorney also did not comment when reached. Messages left for Chuong’s attorney were not returned.
Deng and Chuong faced up to 40 years in federal prison on each count if convicted. The couple previously spent 18 months in federal prison for operating a large-scale marijuana distribution operation in 2008.
A federal grand jury indicted the pair in May 2021, two years after local, state and federal law enforcement busted hundreds of grows around metro Denver in what the now-former U.S. Attorney for Colorado called the largest takedown of its kind in state history.
Dozens of people were arrested, with authorities seizing more than 80,000 marijuana plants and nearly $2.2 million along with gold bars, jewelry and sports cars.
Federal investigators said the criminal enterprise bought up large, suburban homes from Thornton to Castle Rock, converting the spacious basements into sophisticated — and unregulated — marijuana grow centers. The weed would then be shipped in massive quantities around the country, especially to states where the drug remains illegal.
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Colorado couple at center of state’s largest-ever black market marijuana ring reach plea agreement