More than 3,000 plants and 450 pounds of marijuana confiscated as Weld police make four more arrests in connection with smuggling ring | MyWindsorNow.com

More than 3,000 plants and 450 pounds of marijuana confiscated as Weld police make four more arrests in connection with smuggling ring

Tommy Simmons
tsimmons@greeleytribune.com

The Weld County Drug Task Force arrested four more people Wednesday night for their suspected involvement in a large marijuana smuggling ring in three towns.

According to Lt. Steve Black of the Greeley Police Department, who leads the task force, the arrests came when police served six search warrants around the county — including four in west Greeley, as well as one in Windsor and one in Frederick. In a news release, Black stated officers found 3,313 plants and about 460 pounds of finished marijuana. According to the release, police estimate the plants to be worth about $5 million and the finished drug to be valued at about $736,000, though he estimated a pound of marijuana on the East Coast is worth about four times what it sells for in Colorado.

He added police believe the suspected smugglers sent a great deal of the drug to the eastern United States, though acknowledged they probably sold some of it in Colorado. Police believe the drug organization's members rented multiple houses in residential neighborhoods throughout Weld and used them as grow houses. He confirmed the investigation is ongoing and said it is complicated because detectives may have to determine if homeowners were complicit in the illegal operations.

According to the release, police arrested:

» You Hao Chen, 23, in the 6300 block of 13th Street Drive in Greeley, on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute it.

» Yong Chen, 40, in the 2000 block of 81st Avenue in Greeley, on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute it.

Recommended Stories For You

» Rong Ye, 38, in the 9000 block of 18th Street in Greeley, on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute it.

» Jui Lin, 45, in the 6000 block of 8th Street in Greeley, on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana.

» Hua Lin, 43, and Zhqiang Zhou, 57, in the 2100 block of Longfin Drive in Windsor. Zhou was arrested only on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana; Hua Lin was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute it, possession of a forged instrument and child abuse.

» Xin Chen, 37, also in the 2100 block of Longfin Drive in Windsor, although a separate address from the above. Officers arrested Xin Chen on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute it. Xin Chen also had previous drug-related warrants out for his arrest.

» Gao Gong, 47, in the 3000 block of Walnut Grove in Frederick on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute it, and child abuse.

Many of the people arrested have court dates scheduled in the coming days.

What’s next

Many of the people arrested Wednesday in connection with the marijuana smuggling ring have court proceedings scheduled. Gao Gong and You Chen are scheduled to appear in court 1:30 p.m. today , while the Weld District Attorney’s office has until 3:30 p.m. Monday to file charges against Rong Ye, Jiu Lin, Hua Lin, Zhqiang Zhou and Xin Chen.