Deputies of the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) executed search warrants at three residential properties last Wednesday. One was located in the 2400 block of Highway 142, Goldendale, and the other two in the 500 block of Fisher Hill Road, Lyle.
Large, sophisticated illegal marijuana growing operations were found at each location. Seven people were taken into custody:
- Xueying Chen (f), 47 years old, of Goldendale
- Coco Chen (f), 37 years old, of Goldendale
- Jenny Chen (f), 40 years old, of Goldendale
- Zeng You Lin (m), 44 years old, of Goldendale
- Jian-Hen Chen (m), 30 years old, of Lyle
- De Huan He (m), 73 years old, of Lyle
- Zhi-Fa Chen (m), 65 years old, of Lyle
Deputies seized several thousand mature marijuana plants, over $300,000 in cash, tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of grow infrastructure and supplies, and one vehicle.
All seven suspects were booked at the Klickitat County Jail on the charge of Possession and Manufacture of a Controlled Substance (marijuana).
The investigation was led by KCSO Det. Tim Neher. KCSO was assisted in the investigation and operation by the Washington State Patrol Marijuana Eradication Team. The WSP SWAT Team and the Washington State Department of Ecology also assisted.
KCSO is pursuing civil asset forfeiture proceedings concerning the cash and real properties used to facilitate the illegal grow operations.
Despite marijuana becoming legal to some degree under Washington state law, Klickitat County has continued to experience a trend of illegal marijuana grow operations for the purpose of selling the product on the black market.
The investigation is continuing.