15 episodes

Buried cash. DEA moles. Sibling rivalries. Skydiving planes. Fast cars. And an exploding hash lab. A group of college friends took advantage of Colorado’s medical marijuana laws to create one of the longest, most lucrative smuggling runs in U.S. history. But when a drug mule flipped, the whole enterprise came crashing down— and revealed how the marijuana black market is not just evolving in the era of legal weed, but thriving.New episodes publish Tuesday mornings.

The Syndicate Imperative

    • True Crime
    • 4.4 • 1.2K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Buried cash. DEA moles. Sibling rivalries. Skydiving planes. Fast cars. And an exploding hash lab. A group of college friends took advantage of Colorado’s medical marijuana laws to create one of the longest, most lucrative smuggling runs in U.S. history. But when a drug mule flipped, the whole enterprise came crashing down— and revealed how the marijuana black market is not just evolving in the era of legal weed, but thriving.New episodes publish Tuesday mornings.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    THE DRUG RUNNER | Chapter 1

    THE DRUG RUNNER | Chapter 1

    In June 2014, a Kansas State Patrolman pulls over a minivan on a routine traffic stop, only to discover $374,000, a gun, and 66 pounds of pot stuffed into the rear luggage compartment. The roadside bust seems insignificant, but will ultimately lead to the takedown of a multimillion dollar criminal enterprise. Welcome to The Syndicate.
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    • 33 min
    SETTING UP SHOP | Chapter 2

    SETTING UP SHOP | Chapter 2

    Andrew Cohen moves to Colorado to help his longtime college friend Tri Nguyen start a marijuana business. But when Tri throws a duffle bag filled with cash and a GPS tracker off the side of a mountain in the Rockies, Cohen begins to realize the business is not exactly above-board.
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    • 42 min
    MORE PATIENTS, MORE PLANTS | Chapter 3

    MORE PATIENTS, MORE PLANTS | Chapter 3

    Tri takes his marijuana business from a cottage industry to full scale industrialization with growing facilities all over Denver. The weed mogul also devises ways to perfect his "caregiving" model to fool cannabis regulators, all the while hiding his criminal activities in plain sight.
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    • 35 min
    PEST CONTROL | Chapter 4

    PEST CONTROL | Chapter 4

    Even as the Syndicate's growing network expands, distribution remains a problem. Getting the organization’s product across state borders is as risky as it is profitable. And early on, the Syndicate goes through growing pains and personnel issues.
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    • 43 min
    ALMOST LEGAL | Chapter 5

    ALMOST LEGAL | Chapter 5

    Even as the Syndicate hits its stride as an illegal operation, Tri sets up a big play to go legal. He wants to leave the black market forever. But what will it take -- and what will the Syndicate sacrifice in order to go legit?
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    • 43 min
    FAMILY MAN | Chapter 6

    FAMILY MAN | Chapter 6

    The backstory of the Syndicate's kingpin. We explore Tri's motivations, his history with the Syndicate's key distributor in Minnesota, and why he reacted the way he did when things in Denver started to go terribly sideways.
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    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
1.2K Ratings

1.2K Ratings

juliejunket ,

Totally cracked me up

First, the long form storytelling is top notch.

Second, the loose lips…honestly, I’ll be surprised if there aren’t more indictments stemming from the content of this season (grabs popcorn…).

But the absolute highlight? Garbage Breath & I owned condos in the same downtown Mpls. building 20+ years ago (he hasn’t changed a bit).

Katrina-2000 ,

Wonderful podcast, loaded with information!

I binged on this show this week and loved every minute. Excellent scripting, broadcasting, and story-telling. The host, Chris Walker, is engaging and obviously interested in the topic, including how the bumps in Colorado's attempt to legalize cannabis can inform other states, policymakers, and the federal government to knock down barriers to reasonable use of this substance.
I especially enjoyed the review he did of the history of cannabis in the US and the impact of the drug scheduling as ushered in and signed into law in 1970 under president Richard M Nixon Nixon with the Controlled Substance Act.
Well worth the subscription.

rsc986 ,

Good stuff

Great reporting and narration

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