ICE Detains Chinese National After Massive Marijuana Bust In Georgia

 A Chinese national was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after the bust of a massive marijuana operation in rural south Georgia last week. 

Georgia law enforcement arrested four Chinese nationals over a marijuana grow in Pierce County estimated to be valued at $22.5 million. Pierce County Sheriff Ramsey Bennett said that three of the Chinese nationals suspected of operating the grow appeared to be in the United States legally while the other appeared to be here illegally. 

On Tuesday, the bust was announced by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which aided Pierce County law enforcement in the investigation. The authorities initially believed that the building where the marijuana was being grown was being used to illegally process food. 

The sheriff’s department charged Zhu Sheng Bing, Jinpeng Ma, Chenhui Shu, and Wei Sheng Deng with felony possession of marijuana and felony marijuana manufacturing. They are also expected to be hit with trafficking charges and were all denied bond. Deng was the only one detained by ICE. 

Police raided the facility after a four-week investigation and found over 11,000 marijuana plants at all stages of growth. Bennett estimated that the plant had been operational since 2022 and said that people at the organization had ties to Staten Island and Houston. It was the largest marijuana bust in county history. 

Video posted by the Agricultural Department showed officers walking through the building examining the grow operation.

 According to Georgia Agricultural Commissioner Tyler Harper, the operation was very high-tech and could be part of a national crime syndicate. 

“This was a very sophisticated operation,” Harper said at a press conference about the bust. “Hundreds of thousands of dollars in infrastructure in the facility and, as the sheriff mentioned, ties back to New York and Houston, which is indicative of a national crime syndicate.”


Harper said it was very much possible that the operation had “tentacles that spread out” from Pierce County. The investigation is still ongoing with federal law enforcement expected to get involved. 

The bust comes as Chinese-backed illegal marijuana farms have been discovered in rural areas from Maine to Colorado to Tennessee.

Earlier this year, top House Republicans asked for more information and updates on enforcement actions against illegal marijuana farms from the Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Agency. 

At the same time as illegal farms proliferate across the United States, there has been a surge of Chinese nationals illegally crossing the border. Over 20,000 Chinese nationals have already been encountered at the border this fiscal year while only 450 were in 2021.

ICE Detains Chinese National After Massive Marijuana Bust In Georgia ICE Detains Chinese National After Massive Marijuana Bust In Georgia Reviewed by Your Destination on February 28, 2024 Rating: 5

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