Two more homes were raided and five more people were arrested over the weekend as the investigation into suspected illegal marijuana grow operations in the region continue.
The Daily World reports more than 600 plants were seized from a home on Highland Drive in Aberdeen on Friday and four adults were arrested. The next day, more than 900 plants were seized from a home on Thornton Street in Aberdeen and another man was arrested.
Dozens were arrested in raids last week in Grays Harbor, Thurston and King counties as part of the investigation into suspected illegal marijuana grow operations tended by Chinese nationals, according to The Chronicle. Authorities have seized about 35,000 plants valued at more than $80 million.
Four homes in Thurston County were raided, including sites on 10th Court Southeast in Olympia and Laynard Drive Northeast in Lacey.
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Investigators said suspects bought homes with cash and filled them with marijuana plants, according to KOMO. Some of those arrested may have thought what they were doing was legal.
“And so we are of course diligently trying to sort out anyone that may be an innocent victim, that may be trafficked, or may have worked under pressure or false pretenses,” Grays Harbor Prosecutor Katie Svoboda told KOMO.
A Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s official told The Daily World tips from the public have aided the investigation, and he urged anyone with information to call Grays Harbor dispatch at 360-533-8765.
“The concern at this point is unattended grows where equipment, including lighting systems, is still on,” said Steve Shumate, Grays Harbor chief criminal deputy. “This can create a fire hazard.”