Police seize $80 million worth of pot during raids in King, Grays Harbor, Thurston counties

Search warrant executed in Kent

Forty-seven arrests were made in the suspected illegal marijuana grow-op run by Chinese nationals.

Law enforcement confiscated more than 33,000 marijuana plants worth over $80 million last week after executing 50 search warrants during a three-county drug bust involving a suspected illegal grow-op run by Chinese nationals.

The ongoing operation netted 47 arrests between Nov. 28 and Dec 1, when searches yielded additional illegal grow-op sites throughout the week, according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.

Police also confiscated 26 vehicles, multiple guns and more than $400,000 worth of cash and gold.

Search warrants were conducted throughout Grays Harbor County, as well as related locations in King and Thurston counties. In King County, eight search warrants were executed, including three in Bellevue, one in Medina, and one in Kent.

According to a press release from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, the operation, which is being overseen by the Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force, was started following numerous complaints from throughout the region:

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.

Since the task force took over the investigation in August, police suspect that Chinese nationals involved in organized crime purchased numerous homes with cash that were used for setting up the illegal marijuana grows, according to the sheriff’s office.

Police said the proceeds from these illegal grows may be funding other criminal enterprises, and those investigations are ongoing as well.

This article originally appeared on the Bellevue Reporter website.

More in News

A Kent pioneer calls it a career

Dr. Sue Hollinsworth, the city’s first female dentist, is retiring after 40 years of practice

Take online survey about city of Kent parks

Staff seeks feedback about how to improve parks

Kent’s ShoWare Center first in line to get funds from county lodging tax

If revenues high enough, arena to get $200,000 per year

Kent, Sound Transit dispute bus plan at new Sounder garage

City staff claims street cannot handle Metro bus traffic

Morris suspends his King County prosecuting attorney race due to medical reasons

Only challenger against Prosecuting Attorney Satterberg

‘Telling Our Stories Art, Social Justice & Superheroes’ coming to Daniel Elementary

Daniel Elementary School hosts Diversity Appreciation Night on Thursday, Sept. 27, featuring… Continue reading

South King County candidates forum to feature community stories, issues

Washington CAN (Community Action Network) is partnering with community organizations to host… Continue reading

Kent City Councilman Thomas continues fight against diabetes

Returns to council for two straight meetings after long absence

State Patrol bust nine in prostitution sting at Federal Way I-5 rest area

Rest stop just south of Wild Waves near South 369th Street

Most Read