Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force executed 50 search warrants on Wednesday seizing an $80 million grow operation
In total 32,449 cannabis plants were confiscated from the raids
GHCDTF made 44 arrests, confiscated 26 vehicles, and over $400,000 in gold and cash
The massive grow was ran by Chinese Nationals who used the money from the grows to fund other criminal enterprises
On November 28, the Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force (GHCDTF) executed 50 search warrants over three counties and seized multiple cannabis grows worth $80 million. In total, law enforcement confiscated 32,449 cannabis plants.
Along with the grows, law enforcement made 44 arrests. They confiscated 26 vehicles, multiple guns and other items of value, and over $400,000 in gold and cash. In total, 38 warrants were served in Grays Harbor County, eight in King County, and four in Thurston County.
32,449 Cannabis Plants
Through a series of three posts to their Facebook page, the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office posted nine pictures showing what was claimed as a small portion of the bust.
The initial investigation began after Grays Harbor County residents began reporting there was a cannabis grow in the outlying area of Elma. Later in the year, McCleary, Aberdeen, and Hoquiam police departments began receiving the same complaint from residents. GHSD along with McCleary police were able to identify several locations with possible cannabis grows.
On August 1, the GHCDTF took over the investigation into the grows. The GHCDTF soon learned that multiple houses were being bought and converted into “grow houses.” The majority of these houses were purchased with cash by Chinese Nationals who used the money from the illegal grows to fund other criminal enterprises. Currently, there are investigations into the other enterprises.
While it is legal to grow cannabis in Washington, the grows busted on Wednesday did not have proper operating licensing, and some were located in restricted areas. Restricted areas are normally found in neighborhoods and near schools. A license will not allow you to grow in a restricted area.
With the citizen’s passage of I502, the law enforcement community supports the legal operations of marijuana producers, processors, and retailers in this state. They are required by Washington State Law to be licensed and follow strict guidelines.
Due to the size of the operation, at least thirty agencies were involved in serving the warrants.
GHCDTF, Aberdeen Fire and Police Departments, Cosmopolis PD, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Elma PD, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Grays Harbor Communications Center, Grays Harbor County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, Grays Harbor Fire District #2, Hoquiam PD, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Lewis County’s Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET), Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, McCleary PD, Montesano PD, Ocean Shores PD, Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team (OPNET), Pacific County Sheriff’s Office, Port Angeles PD, Raymond PD, South Bend PD, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, US Marshalls Office, Washington State Department of Ecology, Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Western States Information Network, Westport PD.
GHSO said some in some cases there were multiple warrants served on the same streets. The GHSO released an uncompleted list of the general areas of where the searches took place. Some of the raids did not happen until night time.
ABERDEEN CITY / SURROUNDING ABERDEEN AREA
Aberdeen Lake RoadNorth Bank RoadTrentland Park DriveScammelH StreetCherry Street
S. HarborWishkah RoadSumner Ave
HOQUIAM CITY / SURROUNDING HOQUIAM AREA
Queets AveAberdeen Ave.22nd Street
O StreetLawrence StreetB Street
W. ChenaultPacific AveEast Hoquiam Road
GRAYLANDOCEAN SHORESChester AveNarwhal Loop
CITY OF COSMOPOLIS / COSMOPOLIS AREA
2nd StreetHolly LaneLund Road
CITY OF MONTESANO / MONTESANO AREA
S. Glenn StreetGeissler Road
SURROUNDING ELMA AREA
Cloquallum RoadMiddle Earth Lane
CITY OF MCCLEARY / SURROUNDING MCLEARY AREA
W. Simpson AveElma McCleary RoadE. Elma Hicklin Road
Larson Road (Multiple locations)
56th Avenue S (KENT)
144th Avenue SE (BELLEVUE)
NE Lake Washington Blvd. (BELLEVUE)
NE 8th Street (BELLEVUE)
80th Avenue NE (MEDINA)
10th Court SE (OLYMPIA) / Multiple locations
Laynard Dr NE (LACEY)