Law enforcement arrested 47 Chinese nationals in Seattle and confiscated massive amount of cannabis plants believed to have a street value of $80 million.
The three-county crackdown on illegal marijuana plantation lasted between last Tuesday and Friday, and is now being considered as the biggest one yet in the history of Grays Harbor County.
During the massive drug bust, authorities executed 50 search warrants, including 38 in Grays Harbor County, eight in King County and four in Thurston County.
Authorities seized about 35,000 marijuana plants along with 22 kilograms (about 48 pounds) of processed cannabis, 26 vehicles and $400,000 in cash and gold, Seattle Weekly reported.
The operation, which was overseen by the Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force, was initiated after several filed complaints surfaced throughout the region. The press release from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office read:
“This investigation first originated when east Grays Harbor County citizens reported to the Sheriff’s Office possible illegal marijuana grows occurring in the outlying area of Elma. Later in the year, McCleary Police also received similar complaints from their citizens. Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Deputies as well as officers with the McCleary Police Department identified several possible locations where suspected illegal marijuana grow operations appeared to be occurring. Aberdeen and Hoquiam Police Departments received similar complaints from their respective citizens as well.”
Prosecutors suspect that the growers in Washington, where marijuana is legalized, operated as a syndicate that shipped products out to other states for a much higher price, particularly East Coast cities like New York, Chinook Observer reported via South China Morning Post.
Police from different states — including Georgia, Texas and California — have already conducted their own operations to take down illegal marijuana plantations over the past few months.
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