Authorities on Wednesday arrested ten people – nine from the San Gabriel Valley – for allegedly operating marijuana grow houses in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
More than $250,000, over 8,000 marijuana plants and seven weapons including an assault rifle were also seized after state and federal agencies served search warrants at 26 locations.
The suspects allegedly belong to a drug trafficking group reportedly led by an Arcadia man.
The organization bought or leased single-family homes which were converted to raise marijuana indoors, according to federal court documents. Each house contained, on average, 1,000 to 2,000 marijuana plants. The marijuana was sold in California and across the country.
Eleven people were charged with conspiracy to manufacture, to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. One suspect is a fugitive.
Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S Attorney’s Office, said search warrants were served in Eastvale, Corona, Fontana, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Chino, Diamond Bar, El Monte, Arcadia, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, Walnut and Temple City. He said 15 of those locations were marijuana grow houses.
The 10 arrested were:
– Raymond A. Lam, who also used the name “Nam A. Lam,” 42, of Arcadia. He is the alleged leader of the organization and supposedly oversaw buying the houses that were converted into industrial-type marijuana grow houses
– Simon Lam, 32, of Arcadia, a top lieutenant
– Ken Ho, also known as “Ken Lam,” 33, of Arcadia, a top lieutenant
– San S. Voong, also known as “Chen Sheng Wang,” 35, of Arcadia, another top lieutenant
– Phieu Tran, 35, of El Monte
– Augustine Bazan Camacho, 41, of Pomona, allegedly a veteran plant tender responsible for maintaining many of the grow houses
– Thanh Van Phu, 33, of El Monte
– Luc Kai Phoung, who is also known as “Wong Fong,” “Al Fong “ and “Na Na,” 50, of Rosemead, who allegedly built the electrical and utility meter by-pass systems used at the grow houses
– Steven Huytu Lam, 52, of Walnut
– Li Ya Si, 42, of Temple City.
Investigators are still looking for one suspect, 39-year-old Andy Tran of Monterey Park who is allegedly also a top lieutenant in the group.
The investigation was done by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
– Ruby Gonzales