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Drug task force uncovers marijuana ring

 

By Chris Cooney

Bay City News Service

An undercover sting on Tuesday by the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force netted numerous arrests and drug seizures at homes and marijuana grow houses set up in San Francisco, San Mateo and Alameda counties.

The task force operation -- nicknamed Operation Green Hornet -- included officers from 11 Bay Area police agencies and targeted a marijuana trafficking ring with grow sites in Millbrae, Pacifica, Daly City, San Francisco and Hayward, according to San Mateo County Sheriff Cmdr. Marc Alcantara.

Alcantara said agents seized more than 2,200 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, four firearms, more than $100,000 in suspected drug profits, six vehicles, and 22 pounds of harvested marijuana with an estimated street value of nearly $900,000.

There was no evidence that any of the marijuana was headed for legal dispensaries, Alcantara said.

"This was clearly a for-profit operation," he said.

Ten people were arrested and remained in custody in San Mateo County jail on $1 million bail.

They are Millbrae residents Queenie Qi, 38, Bill Dao Bian Qi, 33, and Wilson Cheung, 50; San Francisco residents Winnie Phan, 47, Wendy Lau, 49, Qian Li, 47, Weiren Hu, 49, Jia Hu, 20, and Weix Liane, 48; and Alameda resident Zhi Wei Chen, 42.

All were charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, criminal conspiracy, and theft of utilities.

The 10 suspects are scheduled to be arraigned in Superior Court in South San Francisco at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17.

The state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement assisted in the operation.

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