Feds Seize Thousands of Marijuana Plants and Millions in Real Estate From Chinese Crime Syndicate

Hundreds of federal agents descended on more than 74 homes in Northern California last week as part of a major illegal pot bust involving Chinese-funded transnational criminal organizations. Agents seized 61,050 plants, over 440 pounds of cannabis flowers, 15 guns, and 100,000 in cash. They also filed more than 100 civil forfeiture actions in what has been called one of the largest residential forfeiture operations in the naton's history.

According to the authorities, a well-organized network of criminals were using Chinese cash to purchase homes in urban and suburban neighborhoods, which they then turned into illicit cannabis grow houses. The pot was cultivated for shipments to the East Coast where marijuana is still largely illegal and highly profitable. Targets included Sacramento and Elk Grove, as well as communities in Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, Yuba, and San Joaquin counties.

“The scope of this enforcement operation sends a clear message to international organized crime: get out of our neighborhoods,” said Scott McGregor, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions similarly condemned the networks for “trying to impose a false sovereignty over our neighborhoods.”

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