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Concert venue reportedly built with drug money, feds say

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s one of the more popular concert/dance venues in Salt Lake County.  The Complex has hosted popular local bands before they made it big.  However, federal prosecutors say it was built with the money from illegal drug sales.

Gabriel and Angela Christina Elstein from Park City, and Scott Gordon, from St. George are all facing drug trafficking, possession with the intent to distribute and money laundering charges.  Prosecutors are accusing the trio of bringing in more than a ton of marijuana into and through Utah.

They reportedly hired and recruited drivers to bring the drugs into the state from northern California, and showed those how to hide it.  Once the marijuana got to its destination, the trio used their retail distributors to sell it.

A statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah says between 2007 and December of 2013, Gabriel Elstein and Gordon smuggled in roughly 25 hundred pounds of marijuana, and laundered roughly $5 million through The Complex and Bondad Productions, which are both Salt Lake City based companies.

According to that statement, The Complex cost $1.3 million to build.  Prosecutors claim $400 thousand of that came from “from marijuana cash proceeds previously laundered through Bondad Productions and The Complex bank accounts.”

The rest came from “marijuana cash proceeds paid directly to companies and individuals involved in the construction.”  Investigators claim Gordon made cash payments to the foreman on The Complex with $50 thousand blocks of cash wrapped in plastic.

The IRS is handling the investigation, and the indictment says they’re seeking “forfeiture of property derived from the proceeds of the alleged criminal conduct including The Complex.”  However, they clarify that the concert venue is not being shut down, and will stay open.