DEA takes over prosecution of marijuana grow operation

LAS VEGAS (KSNV My News 3) -- An investigation into a possible Asian drug trafficking operation in the Las Vegas Valley has resulted in the confiscation of more than 1,100 marijuana plants and the arrest of three Chinese nationals.

Also confiscated were 5.2 pounds of marijuana ready for sale, two assault rifles, two pistols, nearly $8,500 in cash, two grams of Ecstasy and three grams of meth.

The investigation has been turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The men arrested include 37-year-old Zhiuen Lin, 63-year-old Jiango Han and 35-year-old Bing Han. All are being held without bail at the Henderson Detention Center. The charges have not yet been specified.

Three homes were searched Friday, two in the southwest valley and another on the west side.

The first search warrant was served about 2 p.m. on the 9660 block of Grouse Grove Avenue in the southwest.

The second home searched late Friday evening was 4107 Del Monte, near Arville and Oakey.

The third home was searched overnight at 6145 Novelty Street, just a few blocks northeast of the Grouse Grove residence.

At least 550 marijuana plants were found in the Grouse Grove and Del Monte homes along with growing apparatus, cash, and Ecstacy pills. The third home appeared to be the center for the operation.

Officers said the arrests were made based on anonymous tips by officers with the Southern Nevada Cannabis Operation and Regional Enforcement. SCORE is comprised of representatives from Metro, the Henderson Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

At the Grouse Grove Avenue home, every room of the two-story rental was filled with plants and apparatus to grow and harvest marijuana except a spot for a single mattress. Officers said the suspects were stealing power from their neighbors to run the grow operation, an endeavor that takes large amounts of juice. The house had so much power that the floor was an electrocution hazard, officers said. They had to wait to enter the house until the power was off.