- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

DENVER (AP) - A Castle Rock man who earned hundreds of thousands of dollars shipping more than 100 packages of marijuana from Colorado to other states has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Brian Daniel Evins entered his plea late last month, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Adam P. Behnen said in a statement Tuesday. He is to be sentenced July 23 on three counts of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, each of which carries a possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million.

Colorado voters approved a measure in 2012 legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and federal authorities are closely monitoring developments in Colorado and other states that have legalized it.

“As the Department of Justice has made clear, stopping the interstate transportation of marijuana is a federal priority,” Walsh said Tuesday.

According to his plea agreement, postal inspectors say Evins first came to their attention early last year after an agent spotted what turned out to be a cash payment for marijuana sent from Missouri to a box at a mail drop business in Lone Tree. The business was placed under surveillance, and Evin was seen picking up that and similar packages.

Evins’ local U.S. Post Office branch also was monitored, and several boxes he dropped off there for shipment to other states were found to contain marijuana, including one to an Indiana address that had just over a kilogram of the drug.

Between April and November of last year, Evins received more than 100 parcels containing in some cases thousands of dollars in cash, and sent off at least three dozen marijuana shipments. After his arrest early this year, investigators searched his apartment and found 580 grams of bagged marijuana, 800 grams of marijuana extract and 5,480 grams of marijuana edibles. In his plea agreement, he admitted to mailing more than 100 marijuana packages and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in return.

The plea agreement did not indicate where Evins obtained the marijuana he sold.

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