Capping off a nearly two-year investigation spanning multiple jurisdictions, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office announced multiple arrests in what is being called one of the largest money-laundering …
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Capping off a nearly two-year investigation spanning multiple jurisdictions, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office announced multiple arrests in what is being called one of the largest money-laundering schemes in Colorado history.
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock announced the arrests as he laid out facts about the ongoing investigation during a June 1 press conference.
Spurlock said they started investigating the suspected multi-million-dollar laundering scheme when several chiefs from local jurisdictions approached him in 2019. They developed a task force that included the following:
• Lone Tree Police Department
• Castle Rock Police Department
• U.S. Secret Service
• U.S. Postal Service
• Aurora Police Department
• Denver Police Department
• U.S. Bureau of Prisons
• Retailers: Albertsons/Safeway, Walmart, Home Depot, Target
Spurlock said with cooperating agencies and help from local retailers, the task force was able to track a scheme involving retail theft. The suspects allegedly would steal items from local retailers and take the product to a facility in Aurora where the items were sold online and sent through the U.S. Postal Service.
Spurlock said the estimated value of the stolen goods is around $5.2 million. He said about $1.7 million in stolen goods was recovered.
Castle Rock Police Chief Jack Cauley attended the press conference, noting that his jurisdiction was a target in the scheme because of the large retailers and outlet malls.
Cauley said retail theft is a major concern in Castle Rock because the community relies heavily on sales tax dollars. When more than $5 million in goods are stolen, Cauley said it is residents of Castle Rock and Douglas County who will pay the price.
Common goods allegedly being stolen for resale included vitamins, cosmetics, birth control and tools from local hardware stores, Spurlock said.
After convening a grand jury that secured the arrest of seven suspects, Spurlock said he is confident these are the leaders running this alleged laundering scheme.
Spurlock said the suspects are mostly from Eastern European countries living in the U.S. legally.
Spurlock said the success of the investigation would not have been possible if it were not for the cooperation from some of the area's largest retailers. The companies provided resources to track identification numbers of stolen goods.
In total, the seven suspects are facing 78 total charges, ranging from charges involving money laundering to theft and mailing stolen goods through the mail.
This is a developing story. More details will be provided as they become available.
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