Three men were arrested in a scheme that allegedly used millions of dollars wired from China to fund seven homes in San Bernardino County that were used for illegal marijuana operations, federal officials announced Thursday.
The three men were arrested Thursday and charged with manufacturing, distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute marijuana.
They are expected to appear in United States District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday.
The defendants were identified as Lin Li, a.k.a. Aaron Li, 37, of Chino, Ben Chen, 42, of Alhambra, and Jimmy Yu, 44, of Pasadena.
Li, a real estate agent, is believed to be the U.S. coordinator of the alleged scheme; Chen allegedly looked over the marijuana grows and Yu was allegedly the second grow house caretaker, officials said.
After a 14-month investigation, search warrants were issued at Li’s home, along with the seven grow houses in Chino, Ontario and Chino Hills.
Authorities seized about 1,650 marijuana plants from the grow houses, and about $80,000 in cash from Li’s home.
Li is accused of purchasing homes through transactions that were designed to conceal the homes’ real owners, converting the houses into marijuana grow sites and selling the processed marijuana, mostly to customers in California and Nevada, officials allege in a 120-page affidavit.
Published: March 07, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News