Sound Publishing archives.

Sound Publishing archives.

Police seize gold bars, guns during search in multi-county marijuana grow-op bust

Police searched 10 King County locations during investigation; 60 arrested so far.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars, jewelry, cars, guns and 72 1-ounce gold bars.

As police continue to investigate a multi-county drug bust on Nov. 29 involving a suspected illegal marijuana grow-op run by Chinese nationals, more details have emerged about what investigators found during their searches of the 10 King County locations involved.

Over 50 search warrants were conducted earlier this month in King, Grays Harbor and Thurston counties at homes that police say the suspects purchased with cash for setting up the illegal marijuana grows.

At two of the locations in Bellevue and another two in Federal Way, investigators found active marijuana grow operations, according to Steve Shumate, chief criminal deputy of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.

In Bellevue, police seized over 700 marijuana plants in the 9500 block of Lake Washington Blvd., and over 400 plants and grow equipment in the 15000 block of SE 15th St.

In Federal Way, police confiscated 718 marijuana plants and some tools in the 33000 block of 43rd Ave. SW. During this search, investigators determined another grow was occurring next door, in the 4300 block of 333rd Ave. SW, where they seized an additional 600 plants.

The remainder of the King County locations also have ties to the organized crime, Shumate added.

At three additional sites in Bellevue, police seized several documents in the 14000 block of NE 8th St.; documents, $29,900 in U.S. currency and a Toyota Sienna in the 1700 block of 144th St. SE; and four guns, jewelry, 72 1-ounce gold bars, a 2017 Toyota Tacoma and approximately $218,936 in cash in the 9400 block of Lake Washington Blvd.

Cell phones, computers, documents and over $132,00 were seized at a Medina location in the 8000 block of 80th Ave. NE.

Police also appropriated documents and over $16,500 at a Seattle site in the 6000 block of 22nd Ave. S., and more electronics, documents, an undisclosed amount of processed marijuana and $3,600 in Kent, in the 23000 block of 56th Ave. S.

All told, detectives so far have confiscated over 33,000 marijuana plants worth more than $80 million and over $400,000 worth of cash and gold. Police have also arrested approximately 60 suspects.

The Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force-led investigation was initiated when east Grays Harbor County residents reported possible illegal marijuana grow operations occurring in the Elma area. McCleary, Aberdeen and Hoquiam police also received similar complaints.

Police believe the proceeds from these suspected illegal grows may be funding other criminal enterprises; those investigations are also ongoing.

More in News

King County Elections mails Primary ballots

Prepaid postage makes voting by Aug. 7 even easier

Highline College welcomes new president John Mosby

Highline College officially welcomed new president John Mosby with a reception July… Continue reading

Costly obstacle snarls hotel site buyback in Federal Way

A multimillion-dollar easement over the former Target property prevents any construction unless it is bought out.

Friendship Day returns to Federal Way

The third annual event will include giant bubbles and long-stemmed yellow roses as well as suicide prevention booths.

Protestors gather at SeaTac’s Families Belong Together rally. Photo by Alex Garland
King County’s separated children

A local non-profit houses several immigrant youths who were separated from their parents at the border. But for how long?

Man shoots himself in stomach; meth user wanders around naked

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log: Accidental shooting:… Continue reading

The Carlton Complex wildfire burned in north-central Washington state in 2014. Photo by Jason Kriess/Wikimedia Commons
King County burn ban under way

Other counties across the state have already enacted similar restrictions.

Most Read