How Thornton's Former Mayor Helped Take Down Dan Tang

June 24 2009, 1:05 PM

Restaurateur Dan Tang took $400,000 in cash from a safe, put it in a black plastic bag, and knocked on the door of former Thornton Mayor Noel Busck, asking him to hold onto it as the feds investigated a pot-distribution ring Tang was later connected to, according to court records. Busck, a long-time friend of Tang's, agreed to hold the money, The Denver Post reports, but gave it back a day later when Tang returned and said police knew what was going on. That incident led Busck to cooperate with police in their probe of Tang's connections to a large-scale marijuana growing and distribution ring that involved members of Tang's family and workers at his popular restaurant, Heaven Dragon, some of whom were apparently employed as a way to conceal their illegal operations from tax collectors. Tang was charged last week with money laundering for the ring (via Boulder's Daily Camera). Prior to that, Tang was living large. Since 2002, he donated some $50,000 to the political campaigns of well-known national and local candidates, including Congressman Mike Coffman, a Republican who represents Colorado's 6th Congressional District. Coffman returned the money after news outlets reported that authorities were investigating Tang (via 5280).

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