Pasco home turned into marijuana operation

By Kristi Pihl, Herald staff writerApril 13, 2011 

PASCO — The marijuana already might have been harvested, but Pasco police officers said they caught four men who turned a west Pasco home into a large indoor pot grow.

Four men were arrested after officers said they returned to the grow operation at 4507 Artesia Drive on Monday afternoon.

On Tuesday, police still were breaking down remnants of the marijuana grow operation. Pasco Capt. Jim Raymond said the house might have held 500 to 600 plants.

"The entire house is a marijuana grow operation," he said.

Although the marijuana had been harvested, Raymond said some plants remained in the 2,036-square-foot home.

Four men fled after police went to the home Monday, two in a car and two by foot, Raymond said. Officers caught all four.

Arrested were Dong Hui Zhang, 19, and Rong Rong Yu, 22, both of Oakland, Calif., and Zhen Wu Chen, 46, and Zhong Dong Ou, 42, both of Portland.

They were arrested on suspicion of manufacturing marijuana with intent to deliver the controlled substance.

The single-story home has four bedrooms and two bathrooms and was built in 2005. Meili Chan of Winchester, Ore., purchased the home in 2006 from Auburn Investments for $180,000, according to county records.

Chan does not own any other property in Franklin County, according to county records.

Raymond said he suspects the grow was part of a larger operation because none of the men was local.

He compared it to other grows that have been seen in Western Washington. Raymond said those types of grows normally aren't found in the Tri-City area.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reported in 2006 that indoor marijuana grow operations, especially those done by Asian-affiliated drug trafficking organizations, had moved into Washington from Canada to avoid increased border security.

Finding the Pasco grow could mean there are others in the area, Raymond said.

The case remains under investigation, and charges have not yet been filed.

* Kristi Pihl: 509-582-1512; pihl@tricityherald.com

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