Four homes in Thurston County were raided on Tuesday as part of a 3-county-wide marijuana ring bust run by Chinese nationals. Of the 51 homes raided, 8 were in King County, 4 in Thurston County, and the rest in Grays Harbor County.
Of the homes raided in Thurston County, three were on 10th Court SE in Olympia and one was on Lanyard Drive in Lacey. In the McCleary area, homes were raided on Simpson Ave, Elma McCleary Road, Elma Hicklin Road, and multiple locations on Larson Rd.
The suspicions began earlier this year when McCleary and Elma area residents reported possible illegal marijuana grows. 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. On August 1, the the Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force took over the investigations.
Throughout the last four months, GHCDTF developed information that numerous homes were being purchased for the purpose of setting up these illegal marijuana grows. The majority of these homes were purchased with cash and information was developed that these purchases were conducted by Chinese Nationals involved in organized crime. The proceeds from these illegal grows appear to be funding other criminal enterprises. Those investigations are on-going.
A total of 50 search warrants were executed among the three counties. There were 44 arrests made, 26 vehicles confiscated, along with multiple guns and other items of value. There was over $400,000 worth of cash and gold seized. A total of 32,449 marijuana plants were confiscated. It was estimated that the value of these particular plants was in excess of $80,000,000.
stock photo of 2500 10th Ct SE in Olympia