A Mexican citizen has been charged in one of the biggest known marijuana grows in Western Washington.
In a Drug Enforcement Administration complaint filed Wednesday, Rafael Birrueta Mendoza of Michoacan, Mexico, was charged with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.
The complaint was unsealed Friday after Mendoza, who lived for a time in Pasco, was taken into federal custody.
On June 24, Pacific and Grays Harbor county investigators found nine pot farms in the Willapa Hills about 10 miles southeast of South Bend.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Olympian
Authorities say more than 20,000 mostly young plants worth an estimated $60 million at maturity were removed.
Investigators report that three men fled and one of them, Mendoza, was caught and jailed in Pacific County. According to the complaint, he was carrying a loaded Glock 20 10 mm handgun.
The Associated Press