Chinese criminals are flooding the U.S. with illegal marijuana.
The Associated Press is reporting that hundreds of federal and local law enforcement agents have seized roughly 100 Northern California houses purchased with money wired to the United States by a Chinese-based crime organization and used to grow massive amounts of marijuana illegally.
The investigation and raids focused on dozens of Chinese nationals who bought homes in seven counties.
Much of the pot was shipped to Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania through Atlanta, Chicago and New York City, he said. The drug is legal in California but requires permits to grow and can’t be sent across state lines.
Black-market pot-growing houses have proliferated in the inland California region since marijuana has been made legal in the state.
The U.S. crackdown comes as California is months into creating the world’s largest legal marijuana market amid uncertainty about whether the U.S. government will try to shut it down.
The Chinese consulate general’s office in San Francisco did not respond to multiple requests for comment.