4 Chinese citizens, 1 in US illegally, allegedly found with $22.5M worth of marijuana plants in Georgia


Georgia law enforcement officials thought they were raiding an illegal food manufacturing plant before discovering $22.5 million in marijuana plants last week, authorities said Tuesday.

Four Chinese citizens were arrested in connection with an illegal marijuana growing facility in Pierce County. The suspects, identified as Zhu Sheng Bing, Jinpeng Ma, Chenhui Shu and Wei Sheng Deng, were taken into custody.

They each face a charge of felony possession of marijuana. Additional trafficking charges are expected, authorities said.

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“The agriculture industry is not immune to criminal activity,” Tyler Harper, Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner, said at a news conference to announce the bust. “I say all the time, just like water takes the easiest path, so does criminal activity from time to time.”

Deng has been detained by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), according to his arrest booking report. The other three were in the U.S. legally, authorities said.

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They are all being held without bail.

The investigation into an alleged rural food manufacturing facility was launched four weeks ago, Harper said. People at the facility allegedly told an undercover law enforcement officer they were growing an “edible food product,” Pierce County Sheriff Ramsey Bennett said.

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Marijuana plants in a Georgia facility

Georgia authorities found more than 11,000 marijuana plants at an illegal facility, authorities said.

The bust happened last week when authorities executed a search warrant before allegedly finding more than 11,000 marijuana plants inside the facility.

The facility had been in operation since 2022, Bennett said.

“We do know people within the organization that we’re familiar with here in the county, they have ties with people from Staten Island (New York) to the Houston metropolitan area,” the sheriff said.

Marijuana grow facility

The facility in Pierce County had thousands of marijuana plants when deputies searched the building.

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“This wasn’t your average south Georgia countrymen with a few plants in the backyard or a few plants in the closet,” he added. “It far exceeds that.”

Original article source: 4 Chinese citizens, 1 in US illegally, allegedly found with $22.5M worth of marijuana plants in Georgia



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