Police seized more than 2,000 marijuana plants in a Massachusetts drug bust in late March, they said.
The raids were carried out March 31 against several homes and vehicles in the South Shore area outside Boston. Police seized more than 2,000 plants “in various stages of growth,” roughly $75,000 in cash, four cars, three assault rifles, 19 other guns, and a taser weapon.
Three men were arrested during the raids: Wai Yip Chu, 39, Tommy Nguyen, 36, and Chanh Nguyen, 42. They face charges of growing and trafficking marijuana, in addition to conspiracy counts. They were arraigned April 1 and released on $10,000 cash bail.
Warrants served on nine locations
The busts were part of a major anti-drug investigation by a law enforcement task force in Boston. Search warrants were served on nine locations, including seven homes and two cars.
Cannabis is decriminalized in Massachusetts, but only up to an ounce. Possession or cultivation of large amounts of the drug can still be treated as a felony under state drug statutes.
Massachusetts adopted medical marijuana in 2012, though dispensaries have yet to open after months of controversy and political wrangling in the earlier stages of the process. Even so, the state is considered a good bet for legalizing recreational weed in the next few years.
A ballot initiative is already underway to legalize in 2016. It has yet to take solid shape, but hopes are high that the state’s liberal tilt could bring an end to pot prohibition there.
Two tons seized in Texas bust
Meanwhile, police in Texas said they seized more than two tons of marijuana in another bust, this one on March 30. The weed was discovered on a tractor-trailer in South Texas after a state trooper stopped the driver.
The truck was hauling a large pressure washer skid through Starr County, which is located in far South Texas along the Mexican border. The trooper stopped it for a routine commercial vehicle inspection.
The officer looked inside the skid and discovered 174 bales of marijuana, more than 4,000 pounds of the drug, police said. They didn’t disclose the potency of the pot, but presumably it was low-quality brick from south of the border.
Police said the Texas haul is valued at more than $24 million, though such estimates often inflate the real street value of drugs. The truck’s 42-year-old driver, Carlos A. Lozano of Pasadena, Texas, was arrested and charged with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to possess the drug. He was transferred to federal custody.