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Making a COCCA Case: Predicate Offenses

A conviction for a COCCA charge requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity. A pattern of racketeering activity means committing two or more “predicate acts." Colorado Revised Statute section 18-17-103(5) includes a number of qualifying crimes. The following are some of the more common “predicate acts” used to establish a pattern of racketeering activity.

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COCCA Charges: Colorado's RICO used in Marijuana and White Collar Offenses

There are four basic COCCA charges available to prosecutors. These charges range from using proceeds of illegal activity to merely being employed by an organization engaged in a pattern racketeering activity.

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The Passing of Amazing American

Despite being an entrepreneurial magnate and icon, Charles Lazarus always put his family first. He will be sorely missed. To learn more about his life, please check out his obituary in The New York Times.

COCCA Piles on Penalties for the Marijuana Industry

The Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) is a criminal statute that creates harsh prison sentences for engaging in “racketeering activity” as part of a “criminal enterprise.” COCCA is Colorado’s version of the Federal RICO statute, which was originally created to break up and prosecute the Mafia across the United States. When Colorado passed the law, it declared that COCCA’s purpose was to stop the “sophisticated and widespread use of fraud and corruption” by criminal enterprises like gangs. However, today COCCA encompasses a broad range of criminal actions and has been used by prosecutors to pile up criminal charges, sentences, and fines. Most notably, this statute has been used against members of the medical and recreational marijuana industry when there are allegations of illegal distribution of marijuana and trafficking marijuana across state lines.

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Marijuana on Trial

The battle to legalize marijuana rages on. Even in states like Colorado, where marijuana has be legal for years, there remains the possibility that the federal government could exert it's authority and enforce its laws that still deem the drug illegal. Such concerns are even more likely given Attorney General Sessions' stated opposition to state laws legalizing marijuana. Enter Washington v. United States, where a group of individuals linked by their use of marijuana for medical purposes has sued the federal government to reclassify marijuana as a less-regulated drug. Read more here...

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Disclaimer: The information in this blog is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this blog should be construed as legal advice from The Eichner Law Firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this blog should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.