SACRAMENTO (AP/CBS13) – A Sacramento man has been indicted on charges of international money laundering and manufacturing marijuana.
U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott says 38-year-old Daniel Zhu’s charges relate to a scheme by a Chinese-based crime organization to grow marijuana in California illegally.
Authorities earlier this year seized about 100 Northern California homes involved in the crime ring. Officials say the marijuana was being shipped to other U.S. states. Marijuana is legal in California but growing it requires a permit and it cannot be shipped over state lines.
The indictment against Zhu was unsealed Friday.
It says he grew marijuana at three locations in Sacramento and Amador counties and was involved in receiving international money wires from China to purchase California real estate used to grow marijuana.
Zhu’s attorney David Fischer would not comment.
Federal agents say the investigation has been ongoing since 2014 and was not related to California’s recent legalization of marijuana. Under California law, the grows in these houses would likely fall outside the state law that went into effect on Jan. 1.
One of the grow houses agents raided in April was a home in the quiet Creekside neighborhood of North Natomas.
Scott said in April that the federal operation was the largest one of its kind, aimed at dismantling a criminal Chinese enterprise.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.