The Latest: Raids cost Chinese gang 'hundreds of millions' - InfoNews

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The Latest: Raids cost Chinese gang 'hundreds of millions'

FBI Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan, right, flanked by McGregor Scott, the United States Attorney For the Eastern District of California, discusses the months-long investigation that led to the law enforcement raids on illegal pot grows in roughly 100 Northern California homes, during a news conference, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. The raids, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday in multiple counties, focused on homes purchased with money wired to the United States by a Chinese-based crime organization and used to grow massive amounts of marijuana. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
April 04, 2018 - 3:19 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Latest on raids on illegal marijuana houses (all times local):

3 p.m.

U.S. prosecutors estimate that a Chinese-based crime organization will lose "hundreds of millions of dollars" in drug profits and the money it invested in homes in Northern California after authorities conducted raids.

Law enforcement agents have seized roughly 100 houses they say were purchased with money wired by the gang and used to grow massive amounts of marijuana illegally.

Authorities said Wednesday that agents seized about 61,000 plants and 440 pounds (200 kilograms) of processed pot, along with 15 guns. They say the weed was destined for Atlanta, Chicago and New York City.

The U.S. Department of Justice calls it one of the nation's largest-ever residential forfeitures.

The crackdown comes as California is months into creating the world's largest legal marijuana market amid uncertainty about whether the federal government will try to shut it down.

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12:13 p.m.

U.S. and local law enforcement agents have seized roughly 100 Northern California houses they say were purchased with money wired by a Chinese-based crime organization and used to grow massive amounts of marijuana illegally.

The raids announced Wednesday culminate a monthslong investigation focusing on Chinese nationals who bought homes in seven counties. U.S. authorities say most of the homebuyers were in the country legally and came from as far away as Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

None of the buyers has been arrested as authorities seized the houses in what the U.S. Department of Justice called one of the nation's largest residential forfeiture efforts ever.

The crackdown comes as California is months into creating the world's largest legal marijuana market amid uncertainty about whether the federal government will try to shut it down.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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